United States of America - Johns Hopkins receives $10 million to open patient safety institute

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Article publication date: 4 October 2011

Keywords

Citation

(2011), "United States of America - Johns Hopkins receives $10 million to open patient safety institute", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 24 No. 8. https://doi.org/10.1108/ijhcqa.2011.06224haa.005

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited


United States of America - Johns Hopkins receives $10 million to open patient safety institute

Article Type: News and views From: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Volume 24, Issue 8

Keywords: Patient safety institute, Quality healthcare improvements, Medical error management

Johns Hopkins plans to use a $10 million gift to launch an institute for patient safety, aiming to reduce medical mistakes that have long troubled health care facilities around the nation.

The Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality will conduct research and develop methods for use at Hopkins and other hospitals around the globe that could prevent infections, misdiagnoses, improper treatments and other errors. It may be the first of its kind in the country, Hopkins and patient advocates say.

“Fewer things are more important in health care right now than improving patient safety and the quality of health care,” Dr Edward D. Miller, Dean and Chief Executive of Johns Hopkins Medicine, said in a statement. “All of us acknowledge these imperatives, but few of us have taken the steps to formally erect a framework that will tackle these issues head on.”

The donation came from C. Michael Armstrong, chairman of Johns Hopkins Medicine’s board of trustees. He is the retired chairman of Comcast, AT&T, Hughes Electronics and IBM World Trade Corp.

Armstrong said in his 21 years working with Hopkins, the focus has been on patient care, yet patients were still being harmed. He said in an interview that it had become clear to him that a center was needed to focus rigorous scientific research and bring about the culture change needed.

“This industry’s business is life, and when you’re in the business of life, zero defects is not an inappropriate objective,” he said.

The medical community put a focus on patient safety more than a decade ago, when the Institute of Medicine released a report blaming medical errors for up to 100,000 patient deaths a year. Patient safety researchers and advocates say little has been done to prevent those errors, and they now believe the number of mistakes is much higher.

Hospitals have instituted various programs, including sharing best practices and increasing quality measurement and reporting, said Matt Fenwick, a spokesman for the American Hospital Association. Many states, including Maryland, now require some reporting.

Hopkins gained notice in the field of patient safety from a safety checklist developed by Dr Peter Pronovost, professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine in the medical school.

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