From the Desk of the Executive Director on patient safety and profitability.
By Michael Wong, JD (Executive Director, Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety)
Are Patient Safety and Profits a Zero-Sum Game?
As a patient safety advocate, I am often asked the question – “Can patient safety be profitable?” Or, another way that this question is asked is – “Is it profitable to be patient-safe?”
There is an assumption behind this question that first needs to be acknowledged – simply by asking the question, the underlying assumption is that making money (being profitable) goes against keeping patients safe. It is as though profits and patient safety are in a zero-sum game – when one goes up, the other goes down.
Patient Safety Can Be a Win for Profits
So, what’s the answer to the question – “Can patient safety be profitable?”
Although patient safety and profits can at times clash, I believe that patient safety is the ultimate win-win scenario and, therefore, can be a win for profits. When patients are safe:
- Patients and their families win because of better care.
- Clinicians and healthcare facilities win because their patients get better care. Moreover, they get sued less because of that better care.
The only ones who don’t win are malpractice attorneys because there will be fewer lawsuits; but being a lawyer myself and having heard enough lawyer jokes, I can say without doubt that there will be few if any tears shed for them.
High-Value Care Improves Patient Care
The recent 6th annual Architecture of High Value Health Care national conference that was held on October 12-14, 2023 featured more than 100 initiatives that showed value-based quality improvement or education in healthcare.
There has been an “explosion in health care costs and the challenges patients face in receiving affordable, convenient and quality care.”
As described by John Hopkins Medicine, the goal of high-value care is “to deliver the most effective care and improve health, while protecting patients from unnecessary tests and treatments.”
Enhanced Respiratory Care Program Increases Reimbursement
With the objective of promoting high-value care, the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety was asked to present at this year’s High Value Health Care conference. Our poster presentation featured the Enhanced Respiratory Care Program. A PDF of the presentation is below:
The Enhanced Respiratory Care program is based on standards published by the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC), which achieved liberation rates of 65% and earned national recognition of excellence from the American College of Chest Physicians (CHEST). Implemented in 2002 in Tennessee as part of TennCare’s plan to improve enhanced respiratory care quality, this program saw resource utilization rates double from an average of $350 to $700 per day.
Patient Safety Can be Profitable – Apply for Enhanced Respiratory Care Accreditation
Patient safety can be profitable. The Enhanced Respiratory Care Program can help your facility keep patients safe and make you more profitable.
So, if you would like your facility to be patient-safe and profitable – all at the same time – apply for Enhanced Respiratory Care Accreditation.