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'Patient Safety Can't Wait' - NQF Calls for Faster Spread of Safe Practices
Date:3/10/2009

WASHINGTON, March 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- To guide healthcare systems in providing care that is free from error and harm the National Quality Forum (NQF) is releasing its 2009 Safe Practices for Better Healthcare. To accelerate the pace of adoption of Safe Practices nationwide, a year-long webinar series will begin in April to provide Safe Practices implementation strategies and commentary from experts in the field.

"The Safe Practices offer clear tools for those who provide, purchase, and use healthcare to ensure that harm is reduced and care is safe. While improvements have been made in patient safety, they must spread farther and faster," said Janet Corrigan, NQF president and CEO. "We cannot afford -- in lives or dollars -- to provide care that is unsafe. Every patient deserves safe, high-quality healthcare, every time they receive care."

Preventable errors cost the United States an estimated 98,000 lives annually, $17 billion to $29 billion per year in healthcare expenses, lost worker productivity, lost income, and disability.(i) Even more troubling, while healthcare spending grows more than seven percent per year, it is estimated that patient safety is improving by only one or two percent.(ii)

One of the major barriers to improvement is an inability to share information and data regarding what works in real-time or even nearly real-time. Research has shown that an average of 17 years elapse before evidence-based practices are incorporated into widespread clinical practice, and then the application of the knowledge is inconsistent.(iii) The healthcare system is notoriously fragmented with poor communication between practitioners at all levels. Poor communication has been cited as the most frequent root cause of medical errors accounting for more than 60 percent of events between 2006 and 2008.(iv)

Similarly, it is well recognized that committed and informed leadership withi
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SOURCE National Quality Forum
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