NEW YORK, NY APRIL 19, 2013 Maximizing patient safety is the top priority for hospital C-Suite executives and Risk Managers in the United States but, "lack of teamwork, negative culture and poor communication" will present barriers to patient safety in the future according to a new survey commissioned by American International Group (AIG) in consultation with patient safety expert, Dr. Marty Makary, MD, MPH.
The results revealed a tension between what hospital leaders perceive as their number one priority in 2013, patient safety (64% C-Suite and 62% risk managers), and their number one threat, failing to maximize financial sustainability (60% C-Suite and 62% Risk Managers). While nearly all respondents (96% of C-Suite and Risk Managers) say their hospital has a "culture of patient safety," one-third (33% of C-suite and 37% of Risk Managers) acknowledge that their hospital needs to undergo major changes to maintain that culture in the future.
"This study is designed to better understand what drives patient safety, the barriers our healthcare system must overcome to achieve it, and what can be done to help keep hospitals safer over the next three to five years," said Russell Johnston, Casualty Product Line Executive, AIG U.S. and Canada.
A majority of respondents said the largest barrier to patient safety is lack of teamwork, negative culture and poor communication (42% C-Suite; 55% Risk Managers). The main communication and coordination problems cited include:
Who "Owns" Patient Safety?
The study also revealed inconsistent perceptions of who is "responsible for" patient safety and who "owns" it. Virtually all hospital executives (98% of both C-Suite executives and Risk Managers) agree that "every staff member in my hospital is responsible for patient safety." But half of both C-Suite executives and Risk Managers (52% and 51%, respectively) believe that nurses "own" it. Interestingly, executives see nursing staff turnover as one of the least influential items on overall hospital risk, including patient safety, regardless of the fact that they place the onus of patient safety on nurses.
Technology, Regulation, and Metrics
Further complicating the situation, the introduction of new technology, regulation, metrics, and patient education aimed at helping patient safety are sometimes perceived has having the opposite effect:
AIG's commitment to prevention from Loss Prevention consulting in hospitals to Pre-Injury Consulting with workers' compensation clients, uses these and other data-driven insights to better understand and ultimately improve healthcare outcomes for patients and hospitals.
"Given that nearly half of every dollar spent on healthcare costs is related to a medical error, improvements in patient safety will provide a quick return on investment," said Emily Rhinehart, RN, MPH Vice President and Division Manager for Healthcare Risk Consulting, AIG.
AIG insures over 2,000 hospitals worldwide, employs more than 250 full-time doctors and nurses, and provides workers' compensation insurance in the United States, through employers, to nearly 10 million employees.
"When insurers work to understand and improve overall healthcare outcomes, it results in patients who: experience less pain, quicker recovery time, and fewer medical complications; return to their family and to work sooner; and are prescribed the right amount and type of medication, for the right amount of time," said AIG Casualty's Russell Johnston. "Prevention doesn't cost. It pays."
|Contact: Matt Gallagher|
Edelman Public Relations