By Michael Wong, JD (Founder/Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)
This week marks the 8th 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 and more generally of the need for the adoption of new technologies and practices to improve patient safety.
Editor’s Note: This editorial from the desk of PPAHS’s Executive Director urges clinicians to do better at detecting patient deterioration. Patient monitoring is a combination of the use of technology in the hands of clinicians adequately trained on its use.
By Michael Wong, JD (Founder and Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)
ECRI Institute recently released its “2019 Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns.” In releasing its top 10 patient safety concerns, ECRI said:
This annual top 10 list helps organizations identify looming patient safety challenges and offers suggestions and resources for addressing them.
One of these 10 patient safety concerns in ECRI’s list is – Detecting Changes in a Patient’s Condition.
Why is this important?
Like a canary in a coal mine to detect carbon monoxide and other toxic gases, which alerted miners of potential dangers, being alerted to a change in a patient’s conditions provides the opportunity for clinicians to intervene.
Written by Michael Wong, JD, Founder & Executive Director of PPAHS
As founder and executive director PPAHS, when I speak at conferences about the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety support for continuous electronic monitoring of patients receiving opioids, I am often asked two questions:
- Is PPAHS suggesting or recommending that technology replace nurses?
- Why has continuous monitoring been so slow to be adopted by hospitals?
by Michael Wong
(This article first appeared in Becker’s Clinical Quality & Infection Control.)
More than 10 years ago, the Institute of Medicine in its landmark report, “To Err is Human” pointed out that at least 44,000 people, and perhaps as many as 98,000 people, die in hospitals each year as a result of medical errors that could have been prevented. IOM therefore called for the building of a safer healthcare delivery system.
In 2009, ten years after the original IOM report, Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports, concluded in its report “To Err is Human – To Delay is Deadly”:
“Despite a decade of work, we have no reliable evidence that we are better off today. More than 100,000 patients still needlessly die every year in U.S hospitals and health-care settings …”
Implementing change to decrease adverse events and to increase patient safety can be difficult for hospitals and healthcare facilities to implement. But, improvements are possible. Here are five tips to get you started. Read More