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Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Hires Patient Safety Liaison to Help Healthcare Facilities Implement Guidance
Date:8/28/2008

The position will be based in the Northeast region with more hires planned throughout the state within the next year

HARRISBURG, Pa., Aug. 28 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority has hired a Patient Safety Liaison for the Northeast region to help healthcare facilities that report to the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System (PA-PSRS) improve patient safety for Pennsylvania citizens.

"Last year in focus groups with Pennsylvania Patient Safety Officers they asked for the Authority to have more of a presence in their facility. They wanted more of a face with the organization," Mike Doering, executive director of the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority said. "This position will allow us to work with facilities on a more individual basis to reduce Serious Events or events that cause harm to the patient."

Megan Shetterly of Hunlock Creek, Pennsylvania has been hired as the first Patient Safety Liaison. Shetterly previously worked as a registered nurse at the Berwick Hospital Center, where she held many positions including most recently its Patient Safety Officer and Director of Women's Health and Risk Management. She also managed and directed the Outpatient Services unit, where she was eventually promoted as Cardiac Champion for the facility in 2007.

Shetterly's other accomplishments include being named Clinical Director of the Year in 2004 and securing a $250,000 patient safety grant for the Berwick Center. She also coordinated a telethon in conjunction with the American Cancer Society to promote breast cancer awareness.

"Megan brings tremendous assets to the Authority, which will allow her to work with Pennsylvania's healthcare facilities," Doering said. "Having been in the role of Patient Safety Officer, Megan knows what the Patient Safety Officers are dealing with on a day-to-day basis. That insight will enable her to more effectively work with PSOs to overcome any obstacles they may be having in improving patient safety."

Doering said specifically among other duties the PSL will: help the Authority gain a better understanding of the patient safety issues facing patients and facilities; assist facilities with implementing Authority guidance to reduce and eliminate harmful events; identify training needs and coordinate education and focus sessions with hospitals on a regional or individual level with personnel from the Authority's contractors, ECRI Institute and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP); deliver presentations at individual hospitals, local professional societies and other interest groups regarding the Authority's role, mission and activities and foster patient safety cooperation among facilities in the region.

"This is a program done nowhere else in the country," Doering said. "Megan and the Director of Educational Programs will be charged with developing the program. Once it's developed, we plan to hire more patient safety liaisons in 2009.

"It's an exciting time for the Authority and Pennsylvania's healthcare facilities. The new employees are the extra ingredient needed to implement the best educational programs possible for improved patient safety," Doering added.

BACKGROUND

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority is an independent state agency created by Act 13 of 2002, the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error ("Mcare") Act, to help reduce and eliminate medical errors by identifying problems and recommending solutions that promote patient safety. Under the Act, all Pennsylvania-licensed hospitals, ambulatory surgical facilities, birthing centers and certain abortion facilities are required to report what the Act defines as "serious events" and "incidents" to the Authority.

More than 790,000 reports have been submitted through the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System (PA-PSRS) since the program was initiated in June 2004. Approximately 96 percent of these reports are Incidents or "near-misses." Based on those reports, the Authority issues quarterly Patient Safety Advisories to give guidance to hospitals and other healthcare facilities about steps they can take to reduce and prevent patient harm.

For more information on the Patient Safety Authority, PA-PSRS or previous Patient Safety Advisories, visit the Authority's website at http://www.psa.state.pa.us.


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority
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