Preventing Patient Harm

Ruling out the wrong diagnosis

Posted by  | Preventing Patient Harm

Although misdiagnosis may kill up to 80,000 annually—more people each year than firearms and motor vehicle accidents combined—you won’t find it on the list of the country’s leading causes of death. Most Americans don’t realize how frequently well-meaning medical providers get it wrong. Just last year Johns Hopkins researchers found that one in 12 ICU patients(...)

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Connecting medical devices and their makers

Posted by  | Designing Safer Systems, Preventing Patient Harm

This week marks a step that holds tremendous promise for patients and clinicians. On Monday the Masimo Foundation hosted the Patient Safety Science & Technology Summit in Laguna Niguel, California, an inaugural event to convene hospital administrators, medical technology companies, patient advocates and clinicians to identify solutions to some of today’s most pressing patient safety(...)

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Leadership qualities for a patient-safety turnaround

Posted by  | Organizational and Cultural Change, Preventing Patient Harm

In recent years, Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas, Texas has faced intense media scrutiny and government investigations into patient safety lapses. As the hospital searches for a new CEO, the Dallas Morning News asked me and other experts to answer the question: "What kind of leader does Parkland need to emerge as a stronger public(...)

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Is this health care’s “man on the moon” moment?

Posted by  | Preventing Patient Harm

For the past four years, Johns Hopkins patient safety researchers and our partners across the country have been working on an ambitious effort to reduce central line-associated bloodstream infections. The project spanned 44 states and included 1,100 intensive care units. On Monday, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, who funded this project, released the preliminary(...)

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Big news today from the Armstrong Institute

Posted by  | Designing Safer Systems, Patient-Centered Care, Preventing Patient Harm

We’re pleased to announce that the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation has awarded Johns Hopkins’ Armstrong Institute a grant of $8.9 million to design safer care in ICUs. This project will have two overriding aims: to better engage patients—and their family members—as integral parts of the care team; and to use systems engineering methods to(...)

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What health care can learn from corn milling

Posted by  | Organizational and Cultural Change, Preventing Patient Harm

Some of the best ideas for improving health care come from outside our field. For example, we’ve adapted cockpit-style checklists from aviation to improve teamwork and communication on our clinical teams. We’ve turned to performance improvement methods from manufacturing to reduce waste and defects in care delivery. A recent experience reminded of the value of seeking(...)

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Company churns out burritos, French toast — and inspiration for health care

Posted by  | Patient-Centered Care, Preventing Patient Harm

This year I am participating in an executive fellowship that is designed to expose leaders in various industries to the Baldrige Framework, a model for organizational excellence. As part of the program, the fellows visit companies that received the coveted Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, administered by the U.S. Department of Commerce. Recently, we toured(...)

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