Patient Safety

Health data interoperability is a patient safety issue Towards a future of patient data sharing and interoperability

This article is a submission by Tim Blake, Managing Director of Semantic Consulting. He can be found on Twitter (@timblake1978). You can join PPAHS’ ongoing efforts to find and disseminate best practices in patient safety by submitting an article here.

Sharing data in healthcare is hard.  Way harder than it should be.

The lack of willingness on the part of some healthcare providers and health IT vendors to safely and easily share patient health information with patients and other health providers is an unacceptable position in our increasingly digital age. Read More

Hospital Acquired Conditions, Patient Safety

Obstetric Malpractice Shapes The Way Doctors Practice – But It Can Be Prevented

The following is an excerpt of an article on obstetric malpractice co-authored by Angela W. Russell, Partner, Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP and Michael Wong, JD, Executive Director of Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS). It first appeared on Healthcare Business Today on July 28, 2017. Read the full article here.

Accidents can happen.

In the case of hospital care, the stakes are high, with errors potentially resulting in serious adverse events or even death. In the field of obstetrics & gynecology, these incidences can have a deeply personal impact, affecting the lives of mother, baby, family, and attending clinicians. It’s not surprising, then, that in the most catastrophic cases, the costs of obstetric malpractice suits can be astronomical. Read More

Alarm Fatigue, Hospital Acquired Conditions

Advances in Alarm Management and Surveillance Monitoring

Written by James Welch, CEO Arc Biomedical Consultants (jwelch@arcbiomed.com)

james-welch

Mr. Welch is a Clinical Engineer with 17 yrs experience in hospitals and over 24 yrs as an executive in the medical device industry. His focus has been on applying technologies to improve patient safety through continuous surveillance monitoring. Mr. Welch has ten patents and articles in the field of wireless physiologic monitoring, surveillance systems and alarm management. He regularly contributes to the AAMI Foundation on alarm safety and is a voting member on a number of International Standards committees.

Early detection of physiologic deterioration is essential in improving patient safety in acute care hospital settings.  Patients in non-ICU settings who are recovering from surgery or special procedures are especially vulnerable because of private or semi-private room settings prevents direct observation and nurse to patient ratios are often 1:6. Experts in Rapid Response Systems (RRS) have arrived at a consensus that strengthening early detection through continuous monitoring is essential in improving the effectiveness of RRS but only if such systems do not impose a burden on the clinical staff. The high incidence of nuisance alarms and cost are two of the major barriers preventing broader adoption of continuous monitoring on the general care floor. Read More

Opioid Safety, Patient Stories, Respiratory Compromise

Remembering Amanda: 7 Years After An Opioid-Related Death

This weekend marked the 7th anniversary of Amanda Abbiehl’s tragic death. Her story continues to remind us of the need for continuous electronic monitoring for all patients receiving opioids.

Amanda was 18-years-old when she was admitted to hospital for a severe case of strep throat. To help her manage the pain, she was placed on a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pump. The next morning, she was found unresponsive and died. Though PCA pumps are designed to deliver an exact dosage of opioid – in Amanda’s case, hydromorphone – getting the ‘right’ dosage is not a simple task. Too high a dosage can lead to respiratory depression, sometimes in minutes. Read More

Opioid Safety, Patient Stories, Practices & Tips, Respiratory Compromise

The Preventable Death of Paul Buisson: 3 Lessons on Preventing Opioid Death

The following is an excerpt of an article first published on The Doctor Weighs In on June 28, 2017. To read the full article, please click here.

In 2005, Paul Buisson, a celebrated Quebec animator and cameraman died as a result of opioid-related respiratory depression. What lessons can we learn more than a decade later? Read More

Blood Clots

PPAHS Participates in 1st Annual Anticoagulation Summit

Patient advocates and leading medical societies involved in awareness building and improving patient safety in Atrial Fibrillation (Afib) and venous thromboembolism (VTE) gathered recently for the 1st Annual Anticoagulation Summit, a two-day conference.

Michael Wong, JD, founder and Executive Director of the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS), presented a poster on the OB VTE Safety Recommendations, which were released by PPAHS, in collaboration with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the National Perinatal Association. The recommendations, compiled by a panel of health experts, give clinicians a step-by-step checklist to help assess all OB patients’ risks for VTE and identify the appropriate prophylaxis regimen to improve health outcomes for maternal patients. Read More

Patient Safety

An Interview With The Creator Of PatientAider Application Navigates the World of Hospitals and Healthcare

Mari Miceli, who developed the PatientAider application, discusses why she developed the application to help patients, families and their advocates while in hospital educate themselves about patient safety.

By Michael Wong, JD (founder and executive director, the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)

Often times, as a patient, the hospital and its staff can be a bewildering and seemingly unfriendly environment; processes, procedures, and even the language spoken can truly be confusing. In a recent NY Times article, “In the Hospital, a Degrading Shift From Person to Patient”, Benedict Carey writes:

Entering the medical system, whether a hospital, a nursing home or a clinic, is often degrading… at many others the small courtesies that help lubricate and dignify civil society are neglected precisely when they are needed most, when people are feeling acutely cut off from others and betrayed by their own bodies.

To help navigate this world of hospitals and healthcare, I recently spoke with Mari Miceli. Mari has worked over 15 years as a registered nurse after graduating from the University of Massachusetts, Lowell with a BS in Nursing and the University of Illinois with a BFA. in Industrial Design. She is also a Regional Network Chair, a volunteer position at the Patient Safety Movement Foundation. Read More

Patient Safety

Physician-Patient Alliance Appoints Communications Director

The Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) would like to formally announce that Nicholas Wong has been appointed as Director, Communications.

Some readers of the PPAHS blog may have noticed that, over the past year, Nicholas has appeared alongside Sean (Community Manager) and Michael (Executive Director) as an article author. As Communications Director, he will be driving our communication strategy. Read More

Opioid Safety, Position Statement, Respiratory Compromise

Patients Receiving Opioids Must Be Monitored With Continuous Electronic Monitoring PPAHS Position Statement on Continuous Monitoring

The following is a position statement published by PPAHS. If you would prefer to view our statement as a PDF, please click here.

Much of the public attention has been focused on the harm caused by prescription use and abuse of opioids. However, there is another facet that must be focused on: opioid-induced respiratory depression in clinical settings. This includes patients undergoing moderate and conscious sedation, or recovering from procedures and managing pain using a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pump, particularly those during the postoperative period. Read More

Hospital Acquired Conditions, Opioid Safety, Respiratory Compromise

Anesthesiology Standards Shouldn’t be Different in Hospital and Outpatient Settings

Written by Lynn Razzano RN, MSN, ONC-C (Clinical Nurse Consultant, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety).

When preventable medical errors occur, one of the very first questions asked by patients, families, the legal system, the press, and the public is: “were appropriate care standards met?”. As a professional Registered Nurse, I look at this question from a quality and patient safety perspective to ask what could have been done differently? What are the best practice medical standards, and why are they not applied across the US health care systems? How applicable should the medical standard of care be? And how do we, as clinicians and patient advocates, define the best practice standard of care?

The reality is that the definition of best practice and standard of care differs between acute care hospital settings and outpatient surgery centers. And, even then, the standard of care being applied by the ambulatory surgical center, anesthesiologist and the gastroenterologist may not be the same. Read More