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National Patient Safety Foundation Proposes Universal Patient Compact

National initiative to strengthen provider-patient collaboration

NORTH ADAMS, Mass., March 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Recognizing the vital role that effective partnering plays in improving patient safety and health care quality, today the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) proposed the development of a Universal Patient Compact to complement the Consumer Bill of Rights and Responsibilities. The Universal Patient Compact will build on principles contained in the Consumer Bill of Rights to establish a mutual covenant between healthcare providers and their patients.


While the Bill of Rights focuses on the patient perspective, the Compact is intended to focus on the relationship between the patient and the caregiver by creating an understanding between the parties about how they will work together. The Compact will describe the agreed upon commitments that all must make to provide a care process that is truly patient and family-centered and respects the rights of patients. As an example, while the patient's right to information will be spelled out, the caregiver's commitment to being honest and transparent with the patient will be stated in support of that goal.

"When the Consumer Bill of Rights was developed, it represented an important step in establishing the patient voice in health care," said Diane Pinakiewicz, President, NPSF. "This Compact is an evolution of that work and more reflective of what our system needs to focus on today, which is the manner in which the patient and the patient's caregivers work in partnership. True partnering and strengthened relationships are key to the delivery of safe and high quality care. The Universal Compact respects this and moves the patient voice to where it needs to be -- central to and integrated within the health care team -- rather than outside it."

The idea for a Compact arose during an NPSF-led Roundtable at the 2007 Nursing Leadership Congress led by McKesson Corporation, which drew approximately 150 nurse executives from across the United States for lectures and roundtable discussions on best-practice approaches to medication safety and other key quality issues in healthcare. The event was sponsored by Intel and McKesson along with NPSF, Joint Commission Resources, the American Organization of Nurse Executives and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices.

Next steps involve gaining consensus within the healthcare industry on the specific tenets of the Compact and its use. Linda Kenney, Chair of NPSF's Patient and Family Committee and a consumer advocate whose foundation supports patients, families and caregivers involved in adverse medical events, called on the healthcare community to move quickly. "I see the Compact as a wonderful opportunity to simplify what's currently in place," Kenney said. "The Compact reinforces the humanity of the patient/provider relationship which is oftentimes missing. It's really about going back to basics."

McKesson applauded the goals of the Universal Patient Compact. "We are honored to collaborate with NPSF in advancing the objectives of the Universal Patient Compact," said Mary Beth Navarra-Sirio, R.N., M.B.A., Patient Safety Officer, McKesson Provider Technologies. "Just as technology is an enabler for many of the processes that lead to greater quality and better outcomes, the Compact is an enabler for more effective partnering as patients and their families become active members of the care team."

About National Patient Safety Foundation

The National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) is an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to improving patient safety and reducing medical errors through research, education and dissemination of programs. It is an unprecedented partnership of stakeholders working together to raise awareness and improve the safety of the health care system. The NPSF was founded in 1997 by the American Medical Association, CNA HealthPro, and 3M, with significant support from the Schering-Plough Corporation. For more information, visit

About McKesson

McKesson Corporation, currently ranked 18th on the FORTUNE 500, is a healthcare services and information technology company dedicated to helping its customers deliver high-quality healthcare by reducing costs, streamlining processes, and improving the quality and safety of patient care. McKesson is the longest-operating company in healthcare today, marking its 175th anniversary this year. Over the course of its history, McKesson has grown by providing pharmaceutical and medical-surgical supply management across the spectrum of care; healthcare information technology for hospitals, physicians, homecare and payors; hospital and retail pharmacy automation; and services for manufacturers and payors designed to improve outcomes for patients. For more information, visit

SOURCE National Patient Safety Foundation
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