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.

  • Be prepared for summer patient safety hazards

    Hospital EDs are extremely busy during the summer months because of accidents and injuries. While there’s no word yet on whether 2017 will break a heat record (though we hope not), you can expect it to bring a familiar brand of dangerous situations. But are you prepared for them?

  • The impact of cybersecurity on patient safety

    In the TV show Mr. Robot, there’s a scene where the main character hacks his hospital’s computer system to change his drug test results from positive to negative.  Naturally, doing such a thing in real life isn’t as easy as the show makes it out to be. But it does touch upon a real problem in today’s healthcare system: Computer crimes can have real-world effects.

  • Bit, kicked, and hit

    Can you take a punch? How do you react to being backed into a corner and screamed at? Can you keep a level head when someone spits at, grabs, slaps, or pushes you? Have you been held at knifepoint before?

    If a job interviewer asked you these questions, you’d probably bolt for the door unless you were applying to be an MMA fighter. Sadly, the interview in this case is for a nursing position.

    By now it shouldn’t be shocking news that cases of workplace violence (WPV) are distressingly high in healthcare. On May 12, 2017, two nurses and a police chief were shot and killed at a nursing home in Ohio. The next day there was an unrelated situation in Illinois, where a hospitalized prison inmate held two nurses hostage at gunpoint before he was killed by police. These are just two examples of violence against healthcare workers. What makes them stand out is that they both happened during National Nurses Week. 

    More than 70% of significant WPV injuries occur in healthcare and social service settings. That number has been on the rise, and the victims are primarily healthcare workers, according to the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS) Foundation.
    The IAHSS reported a 4% rise in hospital assaults, from 7.8 assaults per 100 beds in 2014 to 8.1 in 2015. The Foundation also reported that 89% of healthcare WPV cases were Type 2, violence directed toward employees. A 2014 survey found that 76% of nurses have experienced verbal or physical abuse from patients and visitors.

    “Incidents of workplace violence are increasing in many healthcare settings, but hospital workers are especially vulnerable to aggressive behaviors,” wrote Ann Scott Blouin, RN, PhD, FACHE, The Joint Commission executive vice president, in a blog post. “It stands to reason. After all, especially for nurses or physicians, we’re the ones sometimes delivering upsetting news to patients and families. For nurses like myself, it’s a sad fact that violence has unfortunately become more common. In fact, many of The Joint Commission’s Office of Quality and Patient Safety staff are registered nurses and are all too familiar with the reality of a patient or family encounter gone awry. This often occurs in the emergency department or behavioral health, but violence is occurring in long-term care, outpatient care, and home care.”

    In 2016, The Joint Commission launched the Workplace Violence Prevention Resources site to reduce WPV in healthcare. The site is one of many violence prevention resources available and is full of easy-to-use policies, procedures, guidelines, research, case studies, white papers, and toolkits on topics such as:
    •    Violent and criminal event preparedness and prevention
    •    Active shooter situations
    •    Workplace safety measures
    •    Behavioral threat management
    •    Emergency operations planning
    •    Rudeness and bullying

  • Q&A: CDC town hall addresses preventing Legionella contamination

    On June 2, CMS issued a new memo to surveyors on the importance of reducing cases of Legionella infections. Not long after, the CDC issued a Vital Signs report underlining the bacterium’s risk to patients. First discovered in the 1970s, the Legionella bacterium can cause a type of pneumonia called legionnaires’ disease (LD), which kills about one-quarter of the people who contract it. The bacterium thrives in warm water and is spread through breathing aerosolized water droplets. It’s especially dangerous for patients who are older than 50, who smoke, or who have chronic lung or immunosuppression conditions.
    The following is an edited Q&A from the CDC Vital Signs Town Hall, “Health Care-Associated Legionnaires’ Disease: Protect Patients With Prevention and Early Recognition.”

  • Three keys to preventing workplace violence

     In 2013, more than 70% of the 23,000 significant injuries resulting from workplace assault happened in healthcare and social service settings. In 2014, a survey found that 76% of nurses have experienced verbal or physical abuse from patients and visitors. And in 2015, data published by the International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety discovered a 4% rise in hospital assaults, from 7.8 assaults per 100 beds in 2014 to 8.1 the following year.

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.