February 2016
Dear Colleagues,
Healthcare delivery is evolving into a more patient-centered industry, and that means it is paramount that providers make it easier for patients to receive safe and effective care and to be more involved in the management of their health. At Clarity, we focus on the safety of the healthcare community and the areas with the potential for risk as the industry continues to evolve and these changes occur.

In this issue of The Clarity Post, we are pleased to provide you with resources and insight into a wide variety of topics including high-reliability organizations, health literacy and Patient Safety Organizations.  We trust that the information will help you  in your overall efforts to enhance the safety of your patients, visitors and staff. We appreciate you taking the time and interest to read on.
Anna Marie Hajek
President & CEO
Clarity Group, Inc.

Healthcare Hot Topics
The New Wave of Healthcare - E-visits

It is no secret that telemedicine is exploding in healthcare as a convenient and cheaper option to the traditional doctor office visit. The latest trend in telemedicine is e-visits and like any new program there are risks and rewards, and a lot to consider. How do you actually conduct an e-visit? Do you limit it to a questionnaire or do you incorporate virtual visits? What do you have to consider from a risk management perspective?

The following materials will answer some of these questions and serve as a starting point as you develop your e-visit program:
The Health Literacy Problem

You may not realize it, but many patients don't understand their follow-up care plans or other common healthcare documents. A recent study published in the American Journal of Surgery found that 65% of the study participants had reading skills at grade levels below what was required to understand their discharge notes. While there are agencies working to improve health literacy so a patient's health and well-being are not at risk, each organization and provider must do his/her part.

There are many strategies you can employ to improve the health literacy of your patients. From the basic to the in-depth, the following are resources to help you determine the best 
strategies for your organization:
A Look at High-reliability Organizations

A high-reliability organization (HRO) is one in which there is an inherent risk and complexity to the work it does, but there is also a resiliency built into its very fabric that allows it to see issues before they become major problems and make adjustments accordingly.

We often hear about these HROs and how the aviation and nuclear industries have found success in them. While healthcare shares similar hazardous and high-pressure settings with these other industries, it can be difficult to obtain and sustain the levels of safety suggested by HROs in today's hospitals. That does not mean it cannot happen, though. An article recently published in the  Patient Safety & Quality Healthcare magazine discusses some of the lessons learned by two organizations that are working toward high-reliability and zero harm. 

Read  Zero Harm is the Goal to learn more.

The Patient Wish List

You are a healthcare professional, but at some point in your life, you might also have been a patient. Did you have trouble sleeping? Did the colors of the wall impact your mood? Organizations focus on providing safe and quality care, but what about the everyday things that contribute to a patient's experience? 

Peter Pronovost, MD, PhD worked with Jan Hill, Johns Hopkins' patient relations director  to put together a list of the most common points of feedback they receive at their organization.  The list, which was published in U.S. News & World Report , may not seem like anything new, but it is a conversation starter and reminds us that care goes far beyond procedures and medications.

Celebrate Patient Safety Awareness Week

Mark your calendars - Patient Safety Awareness Week is March 13 - 19. This week kicks off NPSF's United for Patient Safety campaign, a yearlong effort to highlight patient safety issues, start important dialogue between healthcare professionals and the general public, and drive action for reduced harm. Learn more about the campaign and prepare for the week with these links:  

Patient Safety Organizations
PSO Impact and Opportunity

There are many reasons to work with a PSO, but here are 3 reasons why you should embrace one now:

  • By January 1, 2017, 50+ bed hospitals that want to participate in the health insurance exchange must conduct work in a Patient Safety Evaluation System, a key component of PSO participation
  • PSOs allow healthcare providers to participate in patient safety activities and share sensitive information without the fear of legal discovery
  • PSOs help advance the quality and safety of healthcare delivery and strengthen safety cultures

In order to help providers better understand the world of PSOs and their impact on the healthcare community, we created our report: PSO Impact and Opportunity - A Seven-Year Report to Healthcare Providers. In the report, we describe more than just the basics; we give you a look into the inter-workings of Clarity PSO and share a few of our patient safety activity success stories.


Download PSO Impact and Opportunity.

PSOs - A Safe Learning Environment for Patient Safety Issues

Need more information? Here are a few more PSO resources:
Clarity PSO Learning Series: Surgery & Anesthesia Safety Event Reporting

How do you learn from safety events when they are reported as "other"? In this PSO Learning Series Report, we investigate the themes and trends buried within the "other" categories of surgical events in order to create meaningful classifications for errors and their contributing factors.
Download the report.

Clarity Spotlight
Highlights from Clarity's National Patient Safety Summit

Over the summer, Clarity held a day-long workshop focused solely on patient safety. The forum brought together healthcare professionals in operational and clinical leadership roles from across the country so they could  discuss how to add new and innovative patient safety initiatives within their organizations while creating a culture of safety in the process. 

The Patient Safety Summit gave the attendees an open forum to discuss their fears, current challenges and ideas for improvements; in a recent paper, we highlight some of the key takeaways from the day.  Read To Err is Culture: Redefining Our Approach to Patient Safety to learn more about the Summit.

Clarity PSO to Present at AHRQ's Annual PSO Conference

Clarity PSO is honored to present at AHRQ's upcoming Annual PSO Conference regarding its involvement in RO-ILS: Radiation Oncology Incident Learning System®. RO-ILS ,  which is co-sponsored by ASTRO and AAPM, is the only medical specialty society-sponsored radiation oncology incident learning system operating within a federally recognized Patient Safety Organization, Clarity PSO.

Tom Piotrowski, Executive Director of Clarity PSO, and a RO-ILS program participant will discuss how the program was developed and share some of the lessons they have learned so far. The program has seen much success, and we are excited to share this information with the healthcare community.

Detailed information about RO-ILS is available on ASTRO's website.

A Success Story from Cone Health

Cone Health, a comprehensive health network in North Carolina,  has been using our incident reporting tool, the Healthcare SafetyZone ® Portal, since 2003. Over the years, Cone Health has found new and innovative ways to use the system including the recent development of its f ormal Discharge Callback Program. The Program has seen great results thus far with improvements in the following areas:
  • HCAHPS scores
  • Staff morale
  • Patient feedback
  • Patient experience
To learn how Cone Health deployed its Discharge Callback Program with the Portal, read our Case Study, Cone Health's Innovative Use of the Healthcare SafetyZone® Portal.
Upcoming Events
March 9 - 12, 2016
Chicago, IL
Booth #305
Summit on Improving Patient Care in the Office Practice & the Community
March 20 - 22, 2016
Orlando, FL
Booth #21 
Clarity Group, Inc. | 773-864-8280 | info@claritygrp.comwww.claritygrp.com 

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