AHRQ Safety Expert Chosen To Co-Chair National Effort to Reduce Patient Harm

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P. Jeffrey (Jeff) Brady, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety at the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), has been named co-chair of a new committee that will develop a national blueprint to reduce patient harms.

Brady will be joined by co-chair Tejal Gandhi, M.D., M.P.H., CPPS, chief clinical and safety officer for the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), along with nearly two-dozen experts from health care, policy, regulatory, and advocacy communities.

The National Steering Committee for Patient Safety is charged with creating a National Action Plan for the Prevention of Health Care Harm and to continue the quest to eliminate patient harm and affirm safety as a national priority.

Although recent estimates show declines in patient safety episodes, such as adverse drug events and injuries from falls, there is broad consensus that additional steps must be taken to further protect patients from injury or death.

“We know that our challenge is great,” said Brady. “Even today, too many patients are harmed when seeking care. But we believe strongly that a new era of patient safety is within reach and that we can accomplish much more working together to solve this problem than working alone. Coordination in pursuit of this shared commitment will help us make better use of the knowledge we have and learn more about how to keep patients safe.

The committee meets for the first time today in Boston ahead of the 20th Annual IHI/NPSF Patient Safety Congress.

This new effort stems from a 2017 Call to Action issued by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), which merged with IHI last year to combine the strengths of the two organizations around patient safety. The Call to Action frames harm from health care as an issue that affects all of society and demands a coordinated response by the health care and public health sectors.

“For decades, experts have called for increased coordination to improve patient safety, but such a strategy has not been fully instituted,” Gandhi said. “There is still so much work to be done in patient safety, in part because we’ve reached the limits of what a ‘project by project’ approach can achieve. Instead of declaring ‘mission accomplished,’ we need to take steps to advance total systems safety—safety that is systematic and uniformly applied across the health system.”

AHRQ and IHI/NPSF will continue working to produce data, analytics, tools, and resources for hospitals and other health care organizations to improve patient safety while providing the best, safest possible care to patients.

Page last reviewed May 2018
Page originally created May 2018

Internet Citation: AHRQ Safety Expert Chosen To Co-Chair National Effort to Reduce Patient Harm. Content last reviewed May 2018. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, MD. http://www.ahrq.gov/news/newsroom/press-releases/national-steering-committee.html

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