- The California Hospital Association (CHA), Hospital Quality Institute (HQI), and the Patient Safety Movement Foundation (PSMF) have all partnered to create an online database displaying patient safety data to help patients learn more about the facilities at which they receive care.
By creating more transparency about patient safety data, the three organizations hope to drive down the occurrence of adverse patient safety events. CHA, HQI, and PSMF plan on creating a digital dashboard housing patient safety data for patients, providers, and healthcare industry leaders to consult to gain a better picture of participating hospitals.
This online database will be regularly updated, the three organizations said, which is reportedly in contrast to most online patient safety databases currently. The organizations did not offer plans for how they will maintain the up-to-date database.
At first launch, the dashboard will feature data relating to five quality of care measures, such as central line-associated blood stream infections, surgical site infections, C-section birth rates, sepsis mortality rates and venous thromboembolism. Some of those measures are also included in the 2018 Hospital Value-Based Purchasing Model.
The dashboard will also detail hospitals’ verified use of patient safety best practices, according to HQI President and CEO Julie Morath.
“Patients and the public will be able to access important, up-to-date information on the continuous improvement of patient care provided by California hospitals,” Morath said in a statement.
Ideally, publicly reporting patient safety data will force hospitals to improve their practices, suggested PSMF founder Joe Kiani.
“Implementing evidence-based practices to eliminate preventable patient harm and publicly disclosing the results is the best way we know for hospitals to eliminate preventable deaths,” Kiani explained. “We applaud California hospitals for taking the bold steps necessary to no longer simply hope for ‘zero’, but rather to plan for ‘zero’ and achieve the goal. We believe California hospitals will become the safest in the nation.”
Healthcare experts state that transparent reporting of certain hospital data is important for allowing patients to make their own decisions about their care. Should patients access this new dashboard, they may select a different hospital based on certain patient safety quality metrics. This in turn puts more control back into the hands of a well-informed patient, experts state.
There are also benefits for hospitals and other providers, according to CHA President and CEO Carmela Coyle. The data dashboard can help “identify trends earlier than in the past, which will facilitate continuously improved patient care,” Coyle explained.
“We are pleased to be able to support this important work,” Coyle said. “As a result of this collaborative effort, the quality of care for patients will continue to improve across our state.”
Going forward, healthcare professionals must be cognizant of these patient safety issues and engage their patients and colleagues in better practices for preventing these issues.
Patients also have a role to play in avoiding medical errors. Medical experts abound state that patients can serve as an extra set of eyes and ears and can speak up when something doesn’t feel quite right.
With this new database, patients can also make better informed decisions about where to receive their own healthcare based on patient safety data. In turn, this could pressure hospitals to improve their performances.