Writing for the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute, Dr. Bob Wachter authored an article on the Health Affairs blog calling for greater accountability among clinicians for certain practices that have been shown to increase the safety of care and improve outcomes.
Dr. Wachter and the Institute members believe, he wrote "it is time to require that clinicians follow certain well-established safety practices." Calling it the beginning of a "Must Do" list, Dr. Wachter cited hand hygiene and influenza vaccination of health care workers as "two evidence-based, relatively inexpensive, and highly effective practices."
The post acknowledges the importance of a Just Culture in health care and the -- usually -- appropriate emphasis on systems as a cause of error or adverse events. Yet willful disregard for established policies, the Institute members believe, can no longer be ignored.
Dr. Wachter specified the criteria to be considered for an action or practice to be added to the 'Must Do' list:
- The patient safety problem that is being addressed is important.
- The practice has been demonstrated by research or expert consensus to be effective in reducing harm.
- The impact of compliance with the practice is substantial, i.e., a significant number of patient harms would be prevented.
- Universal compliance with the practice, and auditing such compliance, is feasible for clinicians, health care organizations, and accreditors.
- The practice has been accepted as a standard by the National Quality Forum, relevant specialty societies, and by broad professional consensus.
Read the full article on the Health Affairs website.
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