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New AHRQ Evidence Report Details Top Patient Safety Strategies

Mar 18, 2013

In a major effort to help health care systems protect the safety of patients in the United States, HHS' Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) recently released a report identifying the top 10 patient safety strategies that can be implemented immediately by health care providers. Based on an assessment of evidence about patient safety interventions, the report finds that 10 strategies, if widely implemented, have the potential to vastly improve patient safety and save lives in U.S. health care institutions. Making Health Care Safer II: An Updated Critical Analysis of the Evidence for Patient Safety Practices assesses the evidence for 41 patient safety strategies and most strongly encourages adoption of the top 10.

The strategies can help prevent medication errors, healthcare-associated infections and other patient safety events. While largely developed to encourage safe patient care in a healthcare facility, there are several useful recommendations that could be easily integrated into emergency medical services such as "do not use" abbreviations, hand hygiene, ergonomics, prevention of healthcare associated infections, team training, simulation, and protocols for infusion pumps. The report is an update to a landmark 2001 AHRQ report, Making Health Care Safer: A Critical Analysis of Patient Safety Practices (Evidence Report/Technology Assessment No. 43). For more information, click here.