A person-centered healthcare system must approach improvement through the eyes of the patient and family.

To echo this need, our APSS are grouped in the same head-to-toe manner, just as would be experienced in the patient care environment. 

The language that patients would use to describe their healthcare-related issues, such as problems with their “Head”, “Chest”, “Belly”, and “Body”, aligns with the professionals who should be involved in the related performance improvement initiative. 

Organizations must have a strong foundation before reliable systems of care can be established for specific populations. The “Foundational APSS” can be used to create the culture change needed to support ongoing population-specific improvement. This grouping is designed to optimize improvement plan success by centralizing all of the professionals involved in providing care for a specific population from the start.

How to use APSS?

Our APSS provide evidence-based actions and resources for nearly 50 patient safety challenges facing healthcare today. They were created for executives, board members, leaders, clinicians, and performance improvement specialists. This document is intended to be used as a guide for healthcare organizations to examine their own workflows, identify practice gaps, and implement process and system improvements.

In each APSS you’ll find:

  • Executive Summary: This section is for senior leaders and executives to understand common patient safety problems and their implications related to the patient safety challenge being addressed. Most preventable medical harm occurs due to system defects rather than individual mistakes. Executives can review this section and determine whether action is needed in their organization around the patient safety challenge being addressed.
  • Leadership Checklist: If it is determined that action is needed, leaders can use this checklist to assess whether best practices are being followed and to identify gaps in their implementation strategy of the patient safety challenge being addressed.
  • Clinical Workflow: Leaders should include the people doing the work in improving the work. This section outlines what should be happening on the frontline. Clinicians can use this section to inform leaders whether there are gaps and variations in current processes.
  • Education for Patients and Family Members: This section outlines what frontline healthcare professionals should be teaching patients and family members about the patient safety challenge. Clinicians can inform leaders whether there are gaps and variations in the current educational processes.
  • Performance Improvement Plan: If it has been determined that there are gaps in current practice, this section can be used by organizational teams to guide them through an improvement project.
  • What We Know About the Topic: This section provides information for those interested in more detail about the patient safety issue.
  • Resources: This section includes helpful links to free resources from other groups working to improve patient safety.
  • Endnotes: This section includes the conflict of interest statement, workgroup member list, references, and appendices, if applicable.