Patient Safety, Position Statement

Race is a Patient Safety Issue

On May 25, 2020, George Floyd was killed during an arrest by the Minneapolis police. Since that time, Derek Chauvin (one of the police involved in that incident) has been found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder, and manslaughter, and the other three former Minneapolis police officers involved in his death have been indicted on federal civil rights charges.

There have been calls for policing to be reformed. However, we must acknowledge that Black Lives Matter goes beyond policing. 

Race is a patient safety issue. As the Association of Black Cardiologists stated with the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology on May 31, 2020:

“Like cardiovascular disease, acts of violence and racism are core causes of psychosocial stress that promote poor well-being and cardiovascular health, especially for communities of color. Given that heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death for communities of color, particularly African-Americans who have the lowest life-expectancy of all racial/ethnic groups living in the United States, we are extremely disturbed by violent acts that cut to the core of the lives of our community. Therefore, along with other leading health organizations, we DENOUNCE incidents of racism and violence that continue to ravage our communities … The profound grief and stress triggered by these events, as well as the consequences for black lives, contribute significantly to cardiovascular risk. Each episode has emotional and physiological effects on individuals and all communities.”

Disparities, inequities, violence, and racism are completely unacceptable. 

We must act NOW to address any and all inequities in the delivery of care. We must recognize that Black Lives Matter is not just a call for justice and about the murder of George Floyd, but also a time to fix healthcare inequalities wherever they exist. 

We must act NOW to:

  • Actively be anti-racist.
  • Recognize that racism is not just a health disparity issue, but a societal issue that has a profound impact on ALL communities.
  • Identify and call out racism, whether that it exists in ourselves, our neighbors, or in our leaders.
  • Listen and follow black voices, like the Association of Black Cardiologists and the National Black Nurses Association.

To read the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety position statement, “Black Lives Matter, Healthcare Inequalities, and the Need for Systemic Change, please click here.

Patient Safety, Position Statement

COVID Has Affected All of Us, But Some More Than Others

This Martin Luther King Jr. Day, let us all remember that Black Lives Matter, that there are healthcare inequalities, and that we need systemic change.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), as of January 17, 2020, in the United States, there have been more than 23 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 and almost 400,000 deaths due to COVID. 

While these WHO statistics are mind-numbing, what they do not show is that the COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected some American communities more than others. According to Dr. Anthony Fauci (as reported by CNBC), state-level data demonstrate that black people are disproportionately dying from COVID-19:

  • In Michigan, black people makeup 14% of the state’s population, but account for 41% of coronavirus deaths, according to data released by Michigan’s government. 
  • In Illinois, black people makeup 14% of the population, but account for 32.5% of coronavirus deaths, according to the state’s Department of Public Health.
  • In Louisiana, where black people make up about 33% of the population, Gov. John Bel Edwards said in early April they account for more than 70% of the state’s coronavirus deaths, with the majority of these fatalities taking place in New Orleans.
  • In New York City, black and Latino people are twice as likely to die from the virus than their white peers, according to data by the local government.

COVID-19 has disproportionately affected people of color, as reported by the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF). COVID has further exacerbated these differences. The COVID cardiovascular disease registry of the American Heart Association found that Black and Hispanic patients bore a greater burden of mortality and morbidity among COVID hospitalizations. 

COVID has laid bare healthcare inequalities and the need for systemic change. Join with the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety in acting NOW to be:

  • Actively be anti-racist.
  • Recognize that racism tears at the fabric of our society and therefore is a societal issue that has a profound impact on ALL communities and aspects of life.
  • Identify and call out racism, whether that it exists in ourselves, our neighbors, or in our leaders.
  • Listen and amplify black voices, like the Association of Black Cardiologists and the National Black Nurses Association.

For more on our position on Black Lives Matter, please download and read our position statement

Patient Safety, Position Statement

Black Lives Matter, Healthcare Inequalities, and the Need for Systemic Change

As of June 5, 2020, the World Health Organization reports that there are more than 1.8 million confirmed cases or COVID-19 and 106,876 deaths due to COVID-19 in the United States.

Black Lives Matter: Higher Risk of Dying from COVID

While WHO statistics are mind-numbing, what they don’t show is that the COVID pandemic has disproportionately affected some American communities more than others. In an analysis by researchers at Yale University and the University of Pittsburgh, they found that:

black people are more than 3.5 times more likely to die of COVID-19 than white people, and Latino people are nearly twice as likely to die of the virus as white people,

Read More

Opioid Safety, Position Statement, Respiratory Compromise

Patients Receiving Opioids Must Be Monitored With Continuous Electronic 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

Patient Safety, Position Statement, Practices & Tips

Patient Ambulation a Key Metric to Improved Health

The following is a first in a series of position statements. If you would like to read/download our position on ambulation

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Movement is a critical factor to improving patient health. Patient ambulation, the ability to walk from place to place independently with or without an assistive device, is necessary to improve joint and muscle strength, as well as prevent pressure ulcers during extended bed rest. It is a critical factor in improving patient well-being while in hospital, as well as reducing total length of stay (LOS). Read More