Patient Safety

Why Healthcare Providers and PSOs Need to Work Together to Improve Patient Safety and Data Breaches

In this guest article, Meghann Chilcott discusses why healthcare providers need to work with PSOs in order to improve patient safety and reduce data breaches

By Meghann Chilcott (Information Technology and Services)

It’s only summer, and it’s already been an awful year for data security in the American healthcare sector. In April, a ransomware attack could have compromised the data of 85,000 patients at three orthopedic hospitals in California. Then, in June, a healthcare billing claims vendor experienced a cyber attack that may have breached the records of 270,000 patients. These incidents are just the tip of the iceberg. Between 2009 and 2017, 2,181 healthcare data breaches impacted more than 50 percent of the population of the United States.

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Patient Safety

How to Select the Best Patient Monitoring Systems

We are often asked how to select the best patient monitoring systems.

To help with the decision making process, we offer two resources:

  • In a clinical education podcast, “Selecting Patient Monitoring Systems,” Melissa Powell (Chief Operating Officer, The Allure Group); Priyanka Shah (Project Engineer, ECRI Institute); and Charlie Whelan (Director of Consulting, Transformational Health, Frost & Sullivan) provide their guidance on how to select the best patient monitoring systems to meet your clinical needs.
  • The Guide to Patient Monitoring features these manufacturers’ answers about their patient monitoring systems:
    • Becton Dickinson
    • EarlySense
    • GE Healthcare
    • Masimo
    • Medtronic – we recently added their answers, so please check it out and tell us what you think!
    • Philips
    • Respiratory Motion
    • Sotera Wireless

To view manufacturer answers, please click here.

If there is a question you’d like answered or a manufacturer that has not been included, please let us know!


Opioid Safety, Patient Safety

8 Signs You May Have an Opioid Addiction

Freelance writer and in recovery himself, Peter Lang discusses 8 signs that you may have an opioid addiction. To learn more and get help, please visit The Recovery Village.

Opiate addiction is a crisis in America. The proportion of the abusers of pain medication is not just alarming; it has reached critical levels. According to research, about one in every four opioid prescriptions ends up in the hands of abusers. About 35,000 people die every year from this menace. Further studies show that at least 12.5 million people abused opioids in 2015 alone. These pain-relieving medications include methadone, oxycodone, hydrocodone, codeine, fentanyl, and morphine. Some are legal, while others are not.

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Must Reads, Patient Safety

Ideas to Improve Patient Safety Articles PPAHS have been reading the week of July 9, 2018

Articles the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) have been reading the week of July 16, 2018 suggest ideas to improve patient safety.

Ideas to Improve Patient Safety – Requiring Patients to Comply to Conduct Rules to Fight the Opioid Epidemic

The University of Tennessee Medical Center (UTMC) is now requiring patients admitted for medical treatments of drug-use-related infections to comply with new conduct rules. Dr. Jerry Epps, UTMC’s senior vice president and chief medical officer, explains:

“This is done first and foremost for patient safety. When patients are bringing in needles and drugs, and their friends are coming in with drugs, and they can shoot up in the bathroom and maybe kill themselves, I argue we’re doing our best to protect patients and team members from this dreadful problem.”

Good Idea for #Opioidepidemic? - Require Patients to Comply to Conduct Rules Click To Tweet

Ideas to Improve Patient Safety – Encourage COPD Patients to Regularly Exercise

Researchers at the University of Lincoln and the University of Oxford have found:

“Pulmonary rehabilitation — a patient-tailored approach combining exercise, education, and behavioral changes — can improve physical capacity, reduce shortness of breath, and enhance the quality of life of COPD patients.”

Arwel Jones, PhD, research fellow at the Lincoln Institute for Health in the U.K., who is the senior author of the study, discusses the difficulty that such a recommendation may be for COPD patients:

“Being physically active is extremely important for people with COPD, however, people with the disease find it difficult to remain physically active once they have finished pulmonary rehabilitation.”

Encourage #COPD Patients to Regularly Exercise Click To Tweet

Ideas to Improve Patient Safety – Utilize Capnography to Monitoring Patients Under Conscious Sedation

Referring to the clinical education podcast, “Capnography Monitoring During Conscious Sedation: A Must for Maintaining “Eyes and Ears,” Melicent Lavers-Sailly writes about the value of monitoring with capnography:

“Capnography, the measurement of carbon dioxide (CO2) in respiratory gases, has long been used to monitor the breathing of patients under anesthesia in the operating room. Now there is a growing recognition of its value as a reliable tool for monitoring patients under conscious sedation in ambulatory settings outside the OR.”

Utilize Capnography to Monitoring Patients Under Conscious Sedation Click To Tweet

Ideas to Improve Patient Safety – Use Data to Help Make Better Healthcare Decisions & Treatment Choices

In the article, “The benefits of leveraging data and analytics in EMS,” Dr. Brent Myers makes the case for using date to help make better healthcare decisions and treatment choices. Rather than make decisions “either guessing or using their gut,” Dr. Myers encourages “leveraging data to make smarter decisions.”

He provides two examples where data has helped make smarter decisions:

“For example, stroke assessment and care have changed since the beginning of 2018, dramatically. This can’t be emphasized enough as the entire industry is still processing this information. Two recent studies – the DAWN Trial and the DEFUSE-3 Study – highlight findings that provide new guidelines for stroke patient assessment and transport. Specifically, these studies indicate the benefit of extending the treatment window to 16 or even 24 hours after the onset of symptoms for a subset of patients with large vessel occlusion acute ischemic stroke (LVO-AIS).

“While the nearest hospital may have been an appropriate destination in the past, the new research indicates transport to the nearest thrombectomy-capable or comprehensive stroke center may be preferred for those with evidence of LVO-AIS, even when it is not the nearest facility.”

Use Data to Help Make Better Healthcare Decisions & Treatment Choices Click To Tweet

Ideas to Improve Patient Safety – Reducing Psychological Distress May Decrease the Risk of COPD and Other Diseases

A research team led by Catharine Gale, PhD, a professor at the University of Edinburgh and at MRC Lifecourse Epidemiology Unit, University of Southampton, reviewed the clinical records of 16,485 individuals over a three-year period and found that psychological distress may increase the risk of COPD and other diseases:

“The study showed that, compared with people who had no symptoms of psychological distress, those with low levels of distress had a 57% increased chance of having arthritis and those with moderate distress levels had a 72% increased chance. A similar pattern was reported regarding cardiovascular diseases, with low distress levels increasing the risk by 46% and moderate levels by 77%.”

Reducing Psychological Distress May Decrease the Risk of COPD and Other Diseases Click To Tweet
Patient Safety

How to Reduce Medication Errors by 82% 5 Recommendations from a Hospital Pharmacist in Preventing Medication Errors

In this article, “How to Reduce Medication Errors by 82%,” Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety) discusses his interview with Steven Meisel, PharmD, who discusses how to reduce medication errors by 82%.

Mr. Meisel is a patient safety expert at the Institute for Health Care Improvement (IHI) and the Director of Medication Safety at Fairview Health Services in Minneapolis

According to the US Department of Health and Human Services, adverse drug events account for nearly 700,000 emergency department visits and 100,000 hospitalizations each year.


Hospital pharmacists are uniquely positioned to prevent medication errors in the hospital because of their centralizing function for medications prescribed and dispensed within the hospital setting. Read More

Patient Safety

Is a Patient’s Life Worth $30 per Day? The Costs of Monitoring and Not Monitoring Patients

When I interviewed Dr. Frank Overdyk for a clinical education podcast, “Preventing Avoidable Deaths” I asked myself this question, “Is a Patient’s Life Worth $30 per Day?”

Frank Overdyk, MD is an anesthesiologist practicing in Charleston, SC.  He organized two conferences on opioid-induced respiratory depression for the Anesthesia Patient Safety Foundation. Dr. Overdyk also is a member of the advisory board for the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety.

During the podcast, Dr. Overdyk said that the costs of monitoring patients was between $20 to #30 dollars per day:

“there are estimates that the daily cost of continuous monitoring of a patient for example with a pulse oximetry is on the order of 20 or 30 dollars a day. This does not include the cost implications of staff workflow and some of these other softer costs – indirect costs.”

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Patient Safety

Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety Ranked as Top 100 Patient Safety Authority

As of June 2018, Agilience ranks the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety as a top 100 patient safety authority:

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Must Reads, Patient Safety

5 Equations for Improved Patient Safety and Care Articles PPAHS have been reading the week of June 18, 2018

Articles PPAHS have been reading the week of June 18, 2018 emphasize these equations for patient safety.

#1 Equation for Patient Safety: Nurses = Patient Safety

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Patient Safety

Are you up-to-date on respiratory compromise? Respiratory Compromise Institute releases inaugural issue of its quarterly newsletter

The Respiratory Compromise Institute (RCI), of which the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) is a member, has released the inaugural issue of its quarterly newsletter. The newsletter includes: recent research re­lated to respiratory compromise (RC); highlights from a RCI member society meeting; RCI and member society news and RC-related news; and a list of upcoming events and observances.

Click on the image to read the newsletter.

Click on the image to read the newsletter.

Respiratory Compromise is defined by the Respiratory Compromise Institute as

“a state in which there is a high likelihood of decompensation into respiratory insufficiency, respiratory failure or death, but in which specific interventions (enhanced monitoring and/or therapies) might prevent or mitigate decompensation.”

The Respiratory Compromise Institute is a diverse coalition of 14 medical and safety organizations devoted to raising awareness about respiratory compromise:

  • American Association for Respiratory Care
  • American College of Chest Physicians
  • American College of Emergency Physicians
  • American Society of Anesthesiologists
  • American Thoracic Society
  • Canadian Society of Respiratory Therapists
  • National Association of Clinical Nurse Specialists
  • National Association of EMS Physicians
  • National Association for Medical Direction of Respiratory Care
  • Physician Patient Alliance for Health & Safety
  • Society of Anesthesia & Sleep Medicine
  • Society of Critical Care Medicine
  • Society of Hospital Medicine
  • The National Board for Respiratory Care

To read the newsletter, please click here.

Must Reads, Patient Safety

What do Environmental Concerns, C-Sections, the Value of a Human Life and Opioids have in common? Articles PPAHS have been reading the weeks of May 14 and 21, 2018

What do environmental concerns, pressure ulcers, C-sections, the value of a human life, and opioids have in common?

They are the themes in the articles we have been reading the past two weeks of May 14 and 21, 2018.

Your Environment May Increase Your Risk of COPD  

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is a chronic inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs. Although cigarette smoking is often the cause of COPD, a recent study led by researchers from the Barcelona Institute for Global Health (ISGlobal) reminds us that COPD may be caused by other factors.

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