Wednesday, October 28, 2015

A new concept: Acceptable preventable harm

Blogger Melissa Clarkson offers a wryly humorous take on a goal established by the CMS Partnership for Patients, to reduce preventable harm by 40% between 2010 and 2014.  She asks:

I was not aware that harm comes as a mix of acceptable harm and unacceptable harm and the concern is getting rid of the unacceptable portion.

But if hospitals are striving for such a goal, I simply ask that they fully explain this to patients and families. And to help, I would like to provide some ideas for facilitating this communication.

Here are some of the graphics she proposes for those hospitals who wish to be fully transparent.

For a hospital welcome sign:

For a marketing campaign:

For the front lobby:

More seriously, and perhaps not coincidentally, according to this Modern Healthcare article:

The Leapfrog Group has released the second round of its bi-annual hospital safety scores, which show “sluggish” improvement in patient safety among the nation's hospitals.


Neville Sarkari MD, FACP said...

Funny, thanks for sharing. It always surprises me how tough it is to propose a goal of "Zero" events to leaders. Definitely a place for physician leaders to advocate at goal setting time....!

Carole said...

Funny but not so funny! There sure is a lot of talk about this subject, but a touchy one amongst physician leaders. Why?
It's just disheartening. But thank God for those who are trying to make a difference, their efforts are noble and don't go unnoticed or appreciated.

Initial Truth said...

Let's not forget the need to make a "business case" for patient safety. Newest entry: Press Ganey announcing, with a straight face, that a "serious harm" event hurts patient satisfaction. Which, of course, is linked to compensation by Medicare.

Of course, before you run out to call a Press Ganey patient safety consultant, a more thorough analysis is needed. For instance, if a patient is killed by an error, does the family still get a CAHPS survey? How serious is "serious" harm, anyway?

No reason to go too quickly. (sigh)

See my still relevant blog post from December, 2010: Why we still kill patients: "Invisibility, inertia and income."

Anonymous said...

One of your best items to date. I am passing this on for sure.