Report establishes safety as key dimension of patient experience


Safety is a critical strategic priority for health systems in their mission to deliver high-quality, patient-centered care, according to a report from Press Ganey.

The research paper, Reducing Serious Safety Events: A Critical Dimension of the Patient Experience, offers six transformational principles that help health care entities transform culture and improve patient safety.

Key imperatives include: committing to a zero harm events goal; understanding the interdependency between safety, quality and patient-centricity; leveraging data and transparency to identify performance gaps and drive improvement; and creating and sustaining a culture that supports caregivers in their mission to provide empathic, high-quality, highly reliable care.

“If a patient experiences a serious safety event or is harmed by a medical error, his or her overall experience will be negatively impacted, despite the highest quality of care,” said the paper’s author, Dr James Merlino, Press Ganey president and chief medical officer of the strategic consulting division.

 “The time has come for the industry as a whole to embrace zero tolerance for patient harm. Organizations must commit to transformation and embrace new ideas to ensure the delivery of safe, compassionate, high-quality care. This will not only be integral in reducing patient and caregiver suffering but will improve the patient experience and overall value of care.”

There are more than 400,000 deaths annually in the US attributable to health care errors, despite the fact that safety standards are central enterprise imperatives for most provider organizations. The health care industry has yet to see breakthrough results across safety measures.

At Press Ganey’s national client conference in Orlando, Florida, from November 10-12, 2015, Press Ganey introduced a ‘Zero Harm’ initiative, calling for industry stakeholders to pledge support for zero harm events and other patient safety initiatives.

Press Ganey, US, Patient Safety, James Merlino