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.

  • Sharp HealthCare: Before the plane crash

    In January 2009, all eyes were on the Hudson River when a plane flying out of New York’s LaGuardia Airport crash-landed in the river after striking a flock of geese. Thanks to fast acting by the pilots, all 155 passengers survived, with few major injuries. Trouble started afterwards, though, because of a communication breakdown between airlines and hospitals.

    After the crash, victims were sent to multiple hospitals in New York and New Jersey. At the request of family and loved ones, US Airways called the hospitals to figure out where each passenger had been sent. However, fear and misunderstanding of HIPAA laws prevented the facilities from revealing that information, causing more distress for people wanting to find their loved ones and see if they were all right.

    The disaster spurred officials at San Diego International Airport (SAN) and local hospitals to join forces to create an emergency preparedness partnership. A year after the crash, SAN and San Diego hospitals were holding regular meetings together, providing training, and developing contact sheets of whom to call should a crisis occur.

  • Remembering Winter Storm Jonas

    Consult your emergency management plan when facing an impending storm, and update this plan with lessons learned after each storm to avoid grappling with problems that may already have solutions. This is just one of the lessons reinforced for hospitals that were impacted by Winter Storm Jonas (aka “Snowzilla”) back in January 2016.

    It’s been a few years since Jonas smothered the East Coast, so here are a few facts to refresh your memory:

    • 14 states received over a foot of snow. Seven of them saw over 30 inches of snowfall, including places like New York’s JFK airport and Allentown, Pennsylvania.
    • West Virginia received 42 inches of snow.
    • At the time, Jonas was the biggest single snowstorm on record for at least six locations.
    • 11 states declared a state of emergency, and 13,000 flights were canceled.
    • More than 80 million people were affected by Jonas, with at least 55 deaths attributed to it.


  • Incoming EPA rule will change the game on hazardous waste pharmaceuticals

    Tell your nurses that soon that packaging for a patient’s nicotine patch, gum, or lozenge might go straight into the regular trash — as long as it is FDA-approved as an over-the-counter nicotine replacement therapy.

    And your state must sign off on the exemption of the packaging as hazardous waste under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). That’s just one of the benefits you can expect in handling hazardous waste pharmaceuticals at your facility now that the Environmental Protection Agency has finalized its long-awaited “Management Standards for Hazardous Waste Pharmaceuticals and Amendment to the P075 Listing for Nicotine.”

    However, get the word out to everyone in your organization who handles hazardous waste pharmaceuticals that, in the near future, flushing or rinsing those drugs down a drain into the sewers will be specifically prohibited.

  • 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.

  • Mass evacuations: Using TRAIN matrix to triage patients

    You can modify the Triage by Resource Allocation for IN-patient (TRAIN) matrix to suit your facility’s needs in case of a mass evacuation. Hospitals across California and other areas, including the Sharp HealthCare system in San Diego, have modified the matrix for use as part of their all-hazards preparation for emergencies, including wildfires.

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.