The Patient Safety Movement Foundation announced at the 3rd annual Patient Safety, Science and Technology Summit that more than 500 hospitals, medical technology companies and others who have made commitments to eliminate preventable patient deaths have saved more than 6,200 lives since the inaugural Summit in 2013.
“More than ever, we are committed to defeating the tyranny of apathy that has led to more than 200,000 patients dying of preventable deaths in our hospitals each year,” said Joe Kiani, founder of the Patient Safety Movement. “We’re proud to say that through the hard work from all of us, we have saved one plus 6,213 lives – I say one plus 6,213 to emphasize that every life matters, and that even one preventable death is one too many.”
Former President Bill Clinton, who delivered the keynote address at the Summit, linked the greater economic expansion to the reduction of preventable patient deaths. Data show that preventable errors and patient death cost the U.S. healthcare system $1.26 trillion a year. 1
“Holding down health costs will help increase wages and help lift the economy,” President Clinton said.
The president made good on his pledge to commit the Clinton Global Initiative publicity resources to evangelize the Patient Safety Movement’s mission of zero preventable deaths by 2020 – motivated because the Patient Safety Movement has demonstrated it has helped save thousands of lives.
He also embraced the Patient Safety Movement’s vision for the Patient Data Super Highway, a big-data network enabled with predictive algorithms, which could be made possible if all medical technology providers made their devices interoperable to communicate through electronic health record (EHR) systems. The system could arm clinicians and patients with historical and real-time medical data for better outcomes.
Clinton chided technology companies that continue to thwart interoperability.
“It’s just a mistake,” the President said. “It’s the difference between life and death for people. You can’t have a position where you know what you’re doing is costing lives.”
Clinton’s echoed those of Dr. Michael Bell, deputy director of Division of Healthcare Quality at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, who challenged companies that design EHR systems to make their products interoperable and more patient-friendly.
“We know that EHRs are great for billing,” Bell said. “But what would they look like if they were designed to make me a better doctor? And as a patient, why isn’t an EHR helping me navigate my health? There needs to be a service element to the EHR.”
The Patient Safety Movement is driving culture change in healthcare and takes place in the context of positive patient safety developments across a broad swath of society, from millions enrolled in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act, to new data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that show that hospital-acquired conditions declined by 17 percent from 2010 to 2013, resulting in 1.3 million fewer patient harms and 50,000 lives saved.
Today, Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit will feature Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS) commitments to address three new healthcare challenges: early detection of sepsis, patient and provider assertiveness, and optimal resuscitation. Also, Vice President Joe Biden is scheduled to deliver the keynote address.