Creating a culture of safety
Healthcare errors kill people. A 1999 report by the Institute of Medicine indicated that somewhere between 44,000 and 98,000 people die in hospitals each year as the result of medical errors — making medical errors the 8th leading cause of death in the United States, even above breast cancer.
Dr. Peter Pronovost, a Johns Hopkins professor and author of Safe Patients, Smart Hospitals, has established a simple checklist, distilling years of evidence-based information, into an easy to use reference that can improve hospital safety. His approach has been credited with saving 1500 lives in Michigan over 18 months.
Nurses are an integral component of his program. According to USA Today, Dr. Pronovost “took the ‘unprecendented’ step of putting nurses in charge of the checklist and giving them authority to stop doctors who skip a step.”
Jennifer is a professional freelance writer with over eight years experience as a hospital nurse. She has clinical experience in adult health, including med-surg, geriatrics and transplant; she also has a particular interest in women’s health and cancer care. Jennifer has written a variety of health and parenting articles for national publications.
By Jennifer Fink, RN, BSN