PLYMOUTH MEETING, PA—ECRI, the nation’s largest patient safety organization, announces its unity with the United States’ top safety experts in calling for a total systems approach to safety, a theme that was the central focus at the May 2022 Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) Patient Safety Congress.
During its annual convening of national safety leaders, IHI leadership announced its Declaration to Advance Patient Safety, an initiative focused on addressing safety from a total systems approach, as presented in the 2020 National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety.
“As a member of the National Steering Committee for Patient Safety that created the National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety, ECRI fully supports this renewed call to action as outlined in the recent Declaration,” states Chief Medical Officer Dheerendra Kommala, MD. “ECRI, the most trusted voice in healthcare, is in a unique position to deliver a comprehensive, robust solution that reduces preventable harm.”
ECRI’s total system approach to advancing safety includes the design and implementation of a proactive, coordinated strategy to establish healthcare safety processes that impact patients, families, visitors, and healthcare workers across the continuum of care.
ECRI’s healthcare safety experts work collaboratively with healthcare providers to achieve a total systems approach by focusing on strategies to assess, analyze, and implement evidence-based solutions in support of the four foundational domains of the National Action Plan:
Culture, leadership and governance
Patient and family engagement
“This approach, coupled with a focus on the redesign of clinical operating systems, requires coordination of leadership, frontline staff, and safety, quality, and risk management professionals,” stresses Kommala.
ECRI’s 2022 Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns outlined many complex safety issues which can be addressed by a total systems approach to safety. “Tackling a complex issue like staffing shortages, our number one concern, can have a profound impact on both the safety of patients and the healthcare workforce. Leaders and governing bodies need to recognize that the solution is not an easy fix,” says Shannon Davila, RN, associate director of ECRI Safety Solutions. “It requires multi-stakeholder engagement and a learning system framework to actively understand how harm events occur so that we can begin to implement strong and sustainable solutions.”