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Tennessee Hospitals Take Aim at Medical Error with Aerial Aces

Collierville, Tennessee (PRWEB) March 27, 2013

The Tennessee Center for Patient Safety(TCPS) will be partnering with LifeWings Partners, LLC in 2013 in its ongoing effort to make patient safety a priority across the state of Tennessee. The aim of this partnership will be to advance the adoption of TeamSTEPPS, a patient safety program built on the best practices from aviation to improve the reliability, safety and quality of care received by patients in Tennessee hospitals. The objectives of TCPS are to accelerate the adoption of evidence-based strategies that improve the safety and quality of care received by patients, and provide training for hospital leaders to advance their organizations’ culture of safety. The TCPS and LifeWings share in their commitment to increase patient safety, eliminate medical errors, and save lives.

In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM), which is an independent, nonprofit organization that works outside of government to provide unbiased and authoritative advice to decisionmakers and the public, issued results of a study called - To Err Is Human. This study stated the following: Preventable medical errors account for more deaths each year than breast cancer, automobile accidents or drownings. Poor communication among healthcare workers is the most common cause of these medical errors. Nearly 70 percent of sentinel events have communication cited as a root cause. Despite efforts to change these statistics, communication failure has been cited as the number one contributing factor in reported sentinel events, over the past decade.

LifeWings is a respected innovator in aviation-based healthcare performance improvement and was the first patient safety consultant to use the principles of the TeamSTEPPS program. The first generation of TeamSTEPPS, called the Crew Resource Management (CRM) program, was developed by a former Top Gun Instructor and a group of commercial airline pilots, former astronauts, physicians, nurses and risk managers. The program has proven to significantly and measurably reduce errors, increase patient and employee satisfaction, and cut healthcare costs.

Steve Harden, CEO of LifeWings says, "Our mission for this collaboration with the Tennessee Center for Patient Safety is to help make Tennessee hospitals, already some of the best in the country, the safest hospitals in the world. This is our home state, and we take great pride in helping our hospitals be the best.”

Charlotte Burns, former CEO of Hardin Medical Center (HMC) in Savannah, TN, where the LifeWings TeamSTEPPS program already has been implemented, confirms, “Teamwork is the key to improving patient safety. The LifeWings team has melded the best practices of high reliability organizations, such as commercial and military aviation, and thoughtfully adapted those practices for use in healthcare organizations for safer patient care. Partnering with LifeWings to utilize its program of applying safety principles from the aviation industry to the healthcare setting turned out to be one of the greatest changes HMC could have made."

About LifeWings Partners LLC:

LifeWings Partners LLC is a team of physicians, nurses, former NASA astronauts, former military flight surgeons, pilots, flight crew, former military officers, and healthcare risk managers. The team has melded together the best practices of high reliability organizations such as commercial aviation, U.S. Navy aircraft carriers, nuclear submarines, and nuclear power and thoughtfully adapted those practices for use in healthcare organizations and patient safety systems. For more information, please visit: or

For more information on TCPS:

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