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Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Hires Patient Safety Liaison to Help Healthcare Facilities Implement Guidance
Date:5/11/2009

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

HARRISBURG, Pa., May 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority has hired a Patient Safety Liaison for the northwest region to help healthcare facilities that report through the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System (PA-PSRS) improve patient safety for Pennsylvania citizens.

The Patient Safety Liaison pilot program began last year in northeastern Pennsylvania. The program, according to the Authority's Director of Educational Programs, Fran Charney, has given the Authority and facilities a tremendous communication network to help improve patient safety.

"The Patient Safety Liaison (PSL) pilot program has been so successful in the northeast that facilities in other parts of the state are asking when they will get their PSL," Charney said. "The pilot program has given 'a face' to the Authority and with the PSO giving us the feedback we need to develop new educational programs we can meet the needs of our Patient Safety Officers and share analytical information to enhance patient safety in their facilities."

Richard Kundravi, of Sewickley, Pennsylvania has been hired as the northwest Patient Safety Liaison. Kundravi previously worked as the Director of Risk Management and Patient Safety Officer at UPMC McKeesport. In his role as Patient Safety Officer, he conducted educational sessions for failure mode and effects analysis, common cause analysis, root cause analysis (RCA) and just cause education. He also reorganized the complaint process at UPMC McKeesport resulting in a 35% increase in patient satisfaction with the timeliness of a complaint resolution.

Kundravi's other accomplishments include being named Risk Manager of the Year twice by the Western Pennsylvania Association of Healthcare Risk Management, where he served as president and education chair.

"Rick brings an understanding of the Patient Safety Officer role with him to the Authority that will enable him to more effectively communicate one-on-one with facility PSOs," Charney said. "His vast experience in the healthcare industry in Western Pennsylvania will also enable him to help tailor educational programs specifically for his PSL region."

Charney said other duties of the PSL include: helping the Authority gain a better understanding of the patient safety issues facing patients and facilities; assisting facilities with analyzing their data and implementing Authority guidance to reduce and eliminate harmful events; identifying training needs and coordinating 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); delivering presentations at individual hospitals, local professional societies and other interest groups regarding the Authority's role, mission and activities and fostering patient safety cooperation among facilities in the region.

"While the PSL program is new, the results we've seen from the pilot are very encouraging in that facilities welcome the information the Authority has to offer them," Charney said. "It's an exciting time for the Authority and Pennsylvania's healthcare facilities. The new employees provide the needed interaction between the Authority and Pennsylvania healthcare facilities to implement the best educational programs possible to improve patient safety."

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 900,000 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 visit the Authority's website at www.patientsafetyauthority.org.


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SOURCE Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority
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