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Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority Releases September Advisory
Date:9/16/2009

Pocono Medical Center and facilities in the northeast work together to reduce the number

of laboratory errors due to specimen mislabeling

HARRISBURG, Pa., Sept. 16 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Healthcare facilities in northeast Pennsylvania have come together to reduce and eliminate laboratory errors due to specimen mislabeling. Pocono Medical Center helped to spearhead the effort when they noticed they were reporting a large number of mislabeled lab specimens at their facility that coincided with data delivered in a presentation by the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority.

"The Authority spoke at an event for Pocono Medical Center in January and gave a presentation about Pennsylvania hospital data," Fran Charney, director of educational programs for the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, said. "The Authority's specimen mislabeling data sparked a particular interest in Pocono and they approached the Authority to help improve patient safety in this area. The Authority agreed to facilitate a collaborative of area facilities to work on the issue."

Charney oversees the Authority's Patient Safety Liaison (PSL) program that has Authority representatives going into Pennsylvania's facilities to help them implement Pennsylvania Patient Safety Advisory guidance and improve patient safety processes. Pocono Medical Center's Patient Safety Officer (PSO) worked with the Northeast PSL, Megan Shetterly, to develop the collaboration.

Charney said analysis of Authority data shows that mislabeling events occur more often in the Emergency Department (ED) than other care areas, which is consistent with findings reported in literature that show laboratory samples drawn in the ED were 10 times more likely to be mislabeled. Specific to the northeast region, Authority analysis shows there is one mislabeling event reported per facility per month. Unfortunat
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SOURCE Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority
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