Patient Safety and Health Care Newsletter – August 2015

5 Key Patient Safety Achievements!

On July 27, 2015, the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety (PPAHS) turned four years old.

Turning four years old made us look back and see what we’ve done. These 5 Key Patient Safety Achievements stand out!

Thank you to our board of advisors, supporters, health experts, readers, and many others who have made this possible!

#1 – PCA Safety Checklist

In November 2011, PPAHS convened the first of our expert health panels. Becker’s Hospital Review helped us by interviewing some of the health experts on the PCA Safety Panel:

This checklist would reinforce the need for continuous electronic monitoring for oxygenation with pulse oximetry and ventilation with capnography to help prevent so-called “dead in bed” syndrome.

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A free download from the PPAHS website, we sincerely hope that the PCA Safety Checklist has indeed proved useful. But, don’t just take our word for it, here’s what Frank Federico, RPh (Patient Safety Advisory Group at The Joint Commission and Executive Director at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement) had to say:

Use and adherence with standardized processes for eligible patients leads to better clinical outcomes. The PPAHS PCA checklist lays out essential steps to be taken to initiate patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) with a patient and to continue to assess that patient’s use of PCA. Following these steps will help to increase patient safety and save lives.

For more on the PCA Safety Checklist, please read this article which appeared in The Hospitalist (the official publication of the Society of Hospital Medicine).

#2 – OB VTE Safety Recommendations

According to the CDC, the maternal death rate in the U.S. has more than doubled since 1987.

William M. Callaghan, MD, MPH, senior scientist for the maternal and infant health branch in CDC’s Division of Reproductive Health at the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, says this trend may actually be under-reported: “These statistics may represent a conservative estimate of the problem. Why? Not all pregnancy-related deaths are accurately identified and reported. Hence, pregnancy-related deaths identified at the national level likely undercount the true number.”

So, PPAHS brought together another group of health experts on how to prevent blood clots in pregnancy.

The result (released in December 2013 jointly with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the National Perinatal Association) – the OB VTE Safety Recommendations.

Sneak Preview – In the fall of 2015, PPAHS will release a web-enabled version of the OB VTE Safety Recommendations. This web application will allow for the integration of the OB VTE Safety recommendations into electronic health records, the collection of data, etc.

#3 – National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids

opioids partner

Knowing that alone we cannot win the fight to promote the use of continuous electronic monitoring of patients receiving opioids, we enlisted the help of the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI).

In November 2014, AAMI brought together the following organizations to form the National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids:

The National Coalition to Promote Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids is a group of thought-leaders, producing data-driven financial results and sharing strategies to overcome barriers to continuous monitoring, in order to improve patient safety. Members of this coalition include the clinical community, patient advocacy, industry, regulators; hospitals representatives, and professional societies.

#4 – Stroke VTE Safety Recommendations

In February 2015, PPAHS released the Stroke VTE Safety Recommendations, which were developed by the VTE Recommendations Group.

Stroke VTE Safety Recommendations

Presenting at the 2015 International Stroke Conference, Mark J. Alberts, MD (Clinical Vice-Chair for Department of Neurology and Neurotherapeutics, UT Southwestern Medical Center) and Laurie Paletz, BSN, PHN, RN-BC (Stroke Program Coordinator, Cedars-Sinai Medical Center) from the VTE Recommendations Group recommended shortened door-to-treatment times and the use of intermittent pneumatic compression (IPC) to help prevent deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE) in stroke patients.

#5 – Respiratory Compromise Institute

Can respiratory depression only happen to patients receiving opioids?

The answer is no – so, we are helping to put together the Respiratory Compromise Institute.


Organizations participating in the Respiratory Compromise Institute include:

For PPAHS to do more for patient safety, please donate to the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety and click here. Your contribution is tax-deductible.

100% of the funds raised will go towards doing more for patient safety.







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