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PA Patient Safety Authority Highlights Increases In Patient Safety Education

The Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority focused its 2011 annual report of the programs and collaborations that focused on preventing wrong-site surgery and decreasing health-care associated infections.
Stanton N. Smullens, M.D., acting chairman of the authority said in a news release that the authority broadened its scope of educational activities and increased the number of courses and collaborations to include areas such as reducing healthcare-associated infections in ambulatory surgical facilities. He said because of the increase in programs as well as the Patient Safety Liaison program, the attendance at the programs has more than doubled.
The Patient Liaison program began in 2008 as a way to ensure Patient Safety Officers are aware of the resources available to them from the authority and other safety leaders.
Smullens also said that through the PSL program, relationships between competing healthcare facilities have improved because of the common goal of improved safety in areas like preventing mislabeled blood samples and wrong site surgery.
Through a federal program Partnership for Patients, the authority has partnered with the Hospital and Health System Association of PA and will receive about $1.6 million over two years to focus on decreasing falls, wrong-site surgery and adverse drug events. Other collaborations include programs to improve preoperative screening and assessment to help prevent surgical-site infections.
Smullens also said the annual report highlights efforts to combat healthcare associated infections in nursing homes.
Last year the authority assessed 10 nursing homes to determine how they prevent infections which gave the authority information to evaluate hand hygiene, process monitoring, and environmental measures.
Other areas included in the report were the threat of norovirus outbreaks, healthcare worker vaccination rates, skin and soft tissue infections in long-term care, preventing bloodborne disease transmission; and central-line-associated bloodstream infection prevention.