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?”