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VHA Foundation Launches National CEO Patient SafetyNetwork, Starting From the Top to Make Patients Safer
Date:5/6/2008

New Survey Finds that Hospital CEOs Recognize Patients' Safety Concerns, But Lack Confidence About Best Ways to Create Safer Environment

PHILADELPHIA, May 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As patient safety incidents in America's hospitals continue to gain prominence, a new survey shows that few hospital CEOs feel strongly confident about practices in place to prevent or manage these incidents. In response, the VHA Foundation today formally launched the "Health Care SafetyNetwork," a national program to open dialogue among hospital CEOs in an area where most have little formal training. The two-year initiative offers CEOs a forum where they can learn from peers and patient safety experts about ways to create a culture that emphasizes safety above all else.

"Given what we know about the growing number of patient safety incidents, it is not a matter of if medical errors will happen in a given hospital, but when and where," said Ken Smithson, M.D., Vice President of Clinical Improvement Services at VHA Inc. "Yet, hospital leaders are not as confident as they should be when it comes to being prepared to manage a patient safety event - or prevent one from happening in the first place."

New research released today by the VHA Foundation demonstrates the need for a patient safety resource specifically designed for CEOs. The national survey of hospital CEOs revealed that while more than two-thirds (68 percent) of hospital leaders have faced a significant patient safety event in the last three years, only small percentages reported feeling strongly confident about the practices put in place to prevent incidents and in their skills needed to handle one.

-- 15 percent strongly agreed that safety improvements are effectively

implemented and monitored.

-- 20 percent strongly agree that they are confident when speaking with a

patient's family regarding a patient safety related incident.

-- 18 percent str
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SOURCE VHA Foundation
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