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Johns Hopkins' Armstrong Institute receives $8.9 million patient safety grant
Date:8/28/2012

rocedures weren't being used. The checklist program, funded initially by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, has been instituted in hospitals across the United States and in several countries abroad. While Pronovost is proud of his team's accomplishments, that checklist took aim at only one problem. There are so many other harms that can befall hospitalized patients, he says, and not enough focus has been placed on those. Many more harms need to be tackled at the same time, and that can be accomplished only by using an automated, systems engineering approach, he says.

"A patient in the ICU or with multiple chronic conditions may need to receive scores or hundreds of therapies a day, yet there is no list of what needs to be done, no feedback about whether they have been performed and they largely happen by memory rather than automatically," Pronovost says. "Contrast that with all of the automatic safety checklists in cars. No wonder health care continues to harm patients while driving deaths continue to decline."

Ensuring patient and family participation in care is another key focus of the grant. Studies have shown many patients don't feel engaged in their health care decisions and feel that their physicians don't always tell them about all treatment options. Patients have the most intimate knowledge of their medical condition, and that knowledge can prove invaluable to their treatment. Research suggests that outcomes can be improved by engaging patients and their families in the health care process.

"The failure to provide care that respects patients' dignity and autonomy is a harm as critical as a clinical harm," Pronovost says. "When patients and families are significantly engaged, they will help to achieve important medical outcomes that are more meaningful, efficient and durable."

Nicole D. James, a sickle cell patient from Elkridge, Md., knows firsthand how important it is both for patients to be full partners in
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Contact: Stephanie Desmon
sdesmon1@jhmi.edu
410-955-8665
Johns Hopkins Medicine
Source:Eurekalert

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