Welcome to Patient Safety Monitor!

Patient Safety Monitor is the premier online destination for news, analysis, and training in the patient safety community.

This time-saving resource includes:

  • Patient Safety Crosswalk: an interactive grid that organizes state, CMS, and Joint Commission requirements by topic
  • Patient Safety Monitor Journal newsletter and weekly email newsletter
  • Patient Safety Monitor Blog and Talk Group
  • Tools Library with sample forms and policies
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Patient Safety Monitor Journal

Patient Safety Monitor Journal answers your most important patient safety questions and offers field-tested compliance strategies to ensure your patient safety efforts measure up to The Joint Commission.

  • Suicides and drugs cut U.S. life expectancy

    It’s not news to most providers that suicide and drug abuse are on the rise. However, a trio of reports from the CDC have shed light on the extent of the problem.

    In 2017, American life expectancy dropped for the third year in a row, with the main culprits of the decline being drug overdoses and suicides. There was a grand total of 2.8 million deaths that year—69,000 more than in 2016 and breaking the U.S. record for most deaths in one year. Of those deaths, 70,237 were drug overdoses and 47,000 were suicides.

    The research shows that a baby born in 2017 had 1.2 months shaved off its life expectancy compared to one born the year before (78.6 years from 78.7).

  • Wildfire and smoke: Sharp HealthCare's fire plans

    Last November, the innocently named Camp Fire killed over 80 people in California, making it the deadliest wildfire in the state’s history. The fire destroyed 10,500 homes, filled the air with smoke for miles around, and burned an area the size of Chicago. The fire was just one of 6,228 that took place in California last year.

    Nationwide, wildfires burned 8.5 million acres of land in 2018. For scale, that’s as if all of Maryland, Delaware, and Rhode Island burned down with an extra 300,000 acres left over to burn down a few cities of your choice.

    While the destruction last year was high, it wasn’t abnormal. As climate change raises temperatures and brings more droughts and dry weather, experts say wildfires will become even more frequent and dangerous. This growing danger will require even more vigilance on the part of providers and hospitals, particularly in high-risk states like California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming.

  • Using patient engagement to reduce diagnostic errors

    Drawing information from patients can help boost understanding of why diagnostic errors happen and reduce the risk of future errors, according to new research. Diagnostic errors are a serious patient safety problem, impacting about 12 million adult outpatients each year and causing as many as 17% of adverse events for hospitalized patients.

    “Health systems should develop and implement formal programs to collect patients’ experiences with the diagnostic process and use these data to promote an organizational culture that strives to reduce harm from diagnostic error,” researchers wrote in an article published today in the journal Health Affairs.

    The research features an examination of 184 narratives from patients or family members about diagnostic errors collected in a new database maintained by the Empowered Patient Coalition.

  • PSMJ 2018 Index

    It is an understatement to say 2018 was an eventful year. If you need to review anything, we’ve made this index of PSMJ articles to help you quickly find what you need.
    We look forward to keeping you abreast of the patient safety field in 2019!

  • Part one: ECRI tech hazards 2019

    The ECRI Institute published its annual list of the top 10 health technology hazards facing healthcare in 2019. Longtime readers will recognize several hazards from ECRI’s 2018 and 2017 lists, such as cybersecurity and mattresses oozing body fluids.

    But we have some new additions to this year’s list, including retained surgical items and patient lift systems. PSMJ spoke to several experts on the top 10 issues and about steps that can be taken to prevent them to guide readers in the upcoming year.

    This article contains hazards one through five. The remaining hazards will appear in upcoming editions of PSMJ.

    1.    Cybersecurity and hacking
    Summary: In its latest update on this problem, ECRI pointed to the vulnerability of remote access points: connections to hospital devices and systems that are off-site. These points are often missed in regular security maintenance, leaving them exposed.  

    In a healthcare environment, a malware attack can cause procedures to be canceled, damage equipment and systems, expose or corrupt sensitive data, and force closures of entire care units. Ultimately, they can compromise or delay patient care, leading to patient harm.

Weekly Alerts

This e-mail newsletter provides surveillance on patient safety-related standards and regulations, as well the latest breaking patient safety news.

Tools Library

The Patient Safety Monitor Tools Library is a comprehensive collection of sample forms and policies. Search through our downloadable and customizable templates to find what you need, when you need it.

Access the Crosswalk

The Patient Safety Crosswalk is an interactive grid that organizes state, CMS, and Joint Commission requirements by topic. No more searching various sites to find the answers you need—it’s all here in one place!

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Patient Safety Talk

Let your voice be heard!

Patient Safety Talk connects you with hundreds of patient safety professionals across the country. This online talk group allows members to voice their opinion, share tools and policies, and receive answers to industry-related questions.