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Northwestern Memorial Hospital, CAPS, and p4ps Host Consumer Forum to Advance Partnerships to Improve Healthcare Patient Safety

First-of-its-kind workshop to convene at Northwestern Memorial June 19-21, 2008

CHICAGO, March 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Ask just about anyone about their healthcare experiences in America and chances are you will hear accounts of poor communication, medical error, or expected outcomes gone wrong. In fact, according to the national Institute of Medicine, preventable medical error is between the fourth and eighth leading cause of death in the United States. Even when the outcomes are not catastrophic, poor patient experiences can have lasting effects.

Diane Ford checked into a suburban Chicago hospital in May 1991 for a hysterectomy for relief from bleeding. A series of errors resulted in brain damage/permanent short term memory loss which left the 47-year old graduate student and mother of three teenagers unable to care for herself for the rest of her life. As a result, Dan, her former husband, has become deeply involved in advocacy for patient safety, elimination of medical errors, and constructive communication with patients and families during their interactions with providers and after such errors occur.

Thought leaders cite the failure of the healthcare professions to engage consumers in patient safety work -- to listen to the patient -- as a key factor in delaying progress in making healthcare safer. Now Dan Ford, who also works in the healthcare field, is a co-chair of an innovative new effort to energize and involve consumers and the healthcare community in a meaningful collaboration to improve patient safety in the Chicago metropolitan area.

Ensuring that healthcare providers provide state-of-the-art safeguards and other quality measures, in collaboration with informed and engaged patients, is the focus of Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS). With organizing partners Northwestern Memorial Hospital, the World Health Organization's Patients for Patient Safety Program, Pan American Health Organization and Partnership for Patient Safety, CAPS will facilitate a workshop June 19-21 in Chicago. Participation will be limited to 60 people, and the focus of the workshop is to engage consumers in designing better systems for patient safety.

Building on a successful international World Health Organization (WHO) workshop held in London in November 2005 and a regional workshop for the Americas in San Francisco in May 2006, the Chicago workshop will be the first such event focused specifically on collaborative work by patients and providers on broad patient safety issues in the United States at a local level.

The Chicago workshop will center on five initiatives including:

1. Reporting medical errors and/or "near misses"

2. Contributing to root-cause analyses of medical system failures

3. Providing patient education materials on healthcare safety risks and opportunities for engagement in managing those risks

4. Incorporating patient experiences into research and formulation of research agendas

5. Engaging consumers in the planning, safety and effectiveness of their own care or care of their loved ones.

This Workshop is underwritten by support from The Otho S. A. Sprague Institute and Northwestern Memorial Hospital.

About Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS)

Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS) is a consumer-led non-profit organization formed to be a collective voice for individuals, families and healers who wish to prevent harm in healthcare encounters through partnership and collaboration. CAPS envisions a partnership between consumers and providers to create global healthcare systems that are safe, compassionate and just.

About Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH)

Northwestern Memorial Hospital is one of the country's premier academic medical centers and is the primary teaching hospital of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. Northwestern Memorial and its Prentice Women's Hospital and Stone Institute of Psychiatry have 897 beds along with 1,424 affiliated physicians and 6,464 employees. Northwestern Memorial is recognized for providing state-of-the-art patient care and exemplary clinical and surgical advancements in the areas of cardiothoracic and vascular care, gastroenterology, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, organ and bone marrow transplantation, and women's health.

Northwestern Memorial received the prestigious 2005 National Quality Health Care Award and is listed in eight specialties in U.S. News & World Report's 2007 rankings for "America's Best Hospitals." For seven years running, Northwestern Memorial has been rated among the nation's "100 Best Companies for Working Mothers" by Working Mother magazine and has been chosen by Chicagoans for more than a decade as their "most preferred hospital" according to the National Research Corporation's annual survey. Northwestern Memorial carries the Magnet status designation in nursing, the highest recognition possible for patient care and nursing excellence.

About Partnership for Patient Safety (p4ps)

Partnership for Patient Safety (p4ps) is a patient-centered initiative to advance the reliability of healthcare systems worldwide. The mission of p4ps is to initiate focused partnerships and joint ventures with organizations and individuals that share its core values and objectives of achieving a healthcare system that is authentically patient-centered and systems-based.

About World Health Organization's Patients for Patient Safety Program

The World Alliance for Patient Safety is a WHO program launched in 2004. The Alliance, chaired by Sir Liam Donaldson, Chief Medical Officer of the United Kingdom, addresses 10 major action areas, one of which is the "Patients for Patient Safety" initiative. Further information on the work of the Alliance is available at

About the Pan American Health Organization

The Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) is an international public health agency with 100 years of experience in working to improve health and living standards of the countries of the Americas. It serves as the specialized organization for health of the Inter-American System and as the Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization. PAHO also enjoys international recognition as part of the United Nations system.

SOURCE Northwestern Memorial Hospital
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