The Clarity Post
Healthcare Risk-Quality-Safety, Simplified
June 2014
A Note from the CEO


Dear Reader,


We as a collective industry have just wrapped up another Healthcare Risk Management Week, spreading awareness and building consciousness, and I'd like to personally recognize ASHRM for sponsoring the week and everyone in the industry for the roles they play in growing and enhancing our overall climate of patient safety.


At Clarity, all of our activities every single day are aimed at this one broad ideal: to mitigate risk and improve patient safety within all aspects of our client organizations. Through our various products, services, client relationships and our commitment to regularly publishing important findings on risk and safety related topics, we strive to realize our Vision - Healthcare delivery that is free of preventable harm.


In keeping with this, we're very pleased to say that we've recently published a variety of educational papers on topics such as Falls Prevention, Ambulatory Safety, Innovative Risk Financing Solutions, and we've even launched a new series - through Clarity PSO - entitled Journey to an Effective Safety Culture, aimed at building awareness and understanding of safety culture from a healthcare perspective. You'll find links to all of these below.


It's been an exciting year thus far for Clarity. We've launched a new product line aimed specifically at ambulatory care settings, and we are proud to be working with the American Society for Radiation Oncology and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine in providing the infrastructure for their RO-ILS™ system, the only medical specialty society-sponsored radiation oncology incident learning system. Both areas are examples of how broadly spread the concentration on patient safety is across the healthcare continuum.


Please read on. We hope you find some topics of interest and can put the information to good use! 


Anna Marie Hajek

President & CEO

Clarity Group, Inc.

Healthcare Hot Topics
Carry on the Message of Healthcare Risk Management Week

In honor of the American Society for Healthcare Risk Management's (ASHRM) Healthcare Risk Management Week (June 16 - 20) which recently concluded, we would like to recognize all of you who are working hard to reduce risk and improve patient safety. This annual campaign raises awareness about the critical role healthcare risk managers and safety professionals play in patient safety and patient safety care practices, quality assurance, safe work environments and liability.
This year's campaign, "Sharing in the Caring through Enterprise Risk Management," emphasized the responsibilities that all healthcare workers have in the critical area of risk management. Risk management strategies encompass the entire organization, so it is important that everyone in healthcare - from clinical to financial and everyone in between - work together in order to eliminate risks and make facilities safer for our patients.  
Even though the annual campaign is over, the theme of the week rings true year-round. Here are a few resources to share with your colleagues to keep the message alive: 
Steps to Prevent Controlled Substance Abuse by Healthcare Employees


Studies show more than 100,000 healthcare professionals abuse controlled substances each year. Organizations are finding that diversion of controlled substances is becoming more common and the risk applies not only to the person who is diverting the drugs, but also to patients, colleagues and employers. This is a growing issue because drug diversion can be easily hidden and it is poorly policed. No state has universal drug testing requirements, many institutions lack high-tech systems to track dangerous drugs and disciplinary action is rare. 


A recent article by HealthLeaders Media discusses drug diversion in healthcare and offers 10 ways to prevent it. Read a summary of the article's action steps to assist you in putting an end to drug diversion at your facilities. 

Embracing Patient Safety Culture

We have all heard the term "safety culture," but do we really understand its meaning or know how to achieve it? In a new white paper series, Clarity PSO explores safety culture from a healthcare perspective and provides a pathway in which to navigate the current programs and tools available for patient safety.  

In the first white paper, we start with the basics to better understand what makes an effective culture of safety. This includes defining patient safety and safety culture and reviewing the history and current state of these two areas.

Read Part 1: Embracing Patient Safety Culture.

How to Build a Well-Rounded & Proactive Ambulatory Safety Program

While focusing on patient safety is not a new concept, until recently, many healthcare providers have primarily concentrated their efforts on creating safer hospitals. Dramatic shifts in the healthcare landscape, though, are forcing healthcare providers to broaden their efforts and reach beyond the traditional hospital setting and include the entire continuum of care.

To assist healthcare providers in mitigating risk and improving patient safety in their ambulatory settings, Clarity is developing a series of white papers on this topic. In the most recent white paper, Part 2: The Foundations of a Successful Ambulatory Safety Program, we show you how to build a well-rounded and proactive ambulatory safety program, from understanding your current practices to creating processes that work.

RQS Beyond the Traditional Hospital Setting White Paper Series
Part 1: The Time for Awareness is Now

Part 2: The Foundations of a Successful Ambulatory Safety Program

The Critical Role of FQHCs in Primary Care Delivery

Each year, Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHCs), which includes community health centers, outpatient health programs and public housing centers, provide care to millions of Americans. They play a key component to the healthcare safety net and the need for their services will only continue to grow as healthcare expands beyond the hospital. We have seen the role of ambulatory settings increase due to the Affordable Care Act and we will see the same for FQHCs. 


But, what exactly are FQHCs? The Center for Healthcare Research & Transformation provides a valuable policy paper on FQHCs, with a specific look at Michigan, to help us gain a better understanding of this segment and their impact on healthcare.


Patient Safety Organizations
Patient Safety Organizations - Your Answer to Safer Healthcare

Q - Why is the PSO program so important?

A - It offers healthcare providers the secure and protected environment they need to dig deep into matters of patient safety and share their knowledge with other healthcare professionals to realize those possibilities and improve care delivery.   

Read the Clarity PSO Five-Year Report to Healthcare Providers for more information on the PSO program and to learn how participating in a PSO can help you with your patient safety efforts. 

Clarity PSO Learning Series: Falls Prevention

According to the Centers for Disease Control, 1 in 3 adults over the age of 65 fall each year and falls are the leading cause of injury and death for this age group. The odds of a fall resulting in harm also increases with age as adults 75 or older are four times more likely to have an injurious fall than those who are 65-74.

Falls are a perennial issue for patients and there are many reasons as to why they occur in healthcare settings. In this edition of the Clarity PSO Learning Series, we explore one of the top activities performed prior to falls and offer suggestions to help reduce the risk of falls related to this activity.  

Read the report to see what we learned and for our recommendations.

Clarity Spotlight
New Initiative to Improve Radiation Oncology Care


At a Congressional Briefing on June 19, 2014, The American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM) announced the launch of RO-ILS: Radiation Oncology Incident Learning System™, a new, national patient safety initiative to facilitate safer and higher quality radiation oncology care.


RO-ILS is an online portal that will allow radiation oncology centers to provide data regarding near-misses and safety incidents that occurred at their facility in a secure, non-punitive environment. This is the only medical specialty society-sponsored radiation oncology incident learning system within a PSO, Clarity PSO. A panel of experts chosen by ASTRO and AAPM will work with Clarity PSO to analyze the aggregate data and to inform radiation oncology safety procedures and processes, best practices, practice guidelines and/or recommendations.


View the Congressional Briefing or visit the RO-ILS website to learn more about this initiative.


Clarity is Committed to Small & Rural Healthcare
Clarity Group is proud to announce our renewed partnership with the National Rural Health Association (NRHA).

"Our partnership with NRHA reflects our commitment to small and rural healthcare and supports our steadfast belief that this segment of the healthcare delivery system is dedicated to providing high quality services with patient safety at their core," says Anna Marie Hajek, President and CEO of Clarity Group, Inc. "Small and rural communities everywhere are constantly working to become more efficient and to improve their patient safety and quality of care. By continuing our relationship with NRHA, Clarity can ensure that they have access to the education and tools they need to do that."


Read the Press Release.


Healthcare Captives - An Important Risk Management Vehicle
Part 2: The Development of Risk-Quality-Safety Management Programs


Clarity has released the second white paper in its series on the successful management of a healthcare captive insurance company in the professional liability arena. This white paper, The Development of Risk-Quality-Safety Management Programs, focuses on the importance of having a solid RQS plan in addressing challenges toward patient safety and ultimately mitigating claims in a captive insurance setting.

Take a look back at Part 1: Foundations of Successful Claims Management and stay tuned for the final white paper on the role of Underwriting in sustaining a successful captive insurance company.
Outpatient Care is Expanding but are Your Ambulatory Settings Safe?


Each year, there are 956 million visits to physician offices vs 36 million hospital discharges, so how can we afford to have patient safety efforts only focused on hospital settings?


Clarity ASI: Ambulatory Safety Initiative is a suite of services designed to help healthcare organizations identify risks and errors associated with their ambulatory settings and develop strategies to improve their patient care.


Our experts review and analyze three data elements: (1) professional liability claims; (2) a self-reported practice assessment; and (3) real-time event reporting to gain insight into your ambulatory care practices and then work with you on recommendations for how to enhance your patient safety efforts and decrease patient harm. Visit our website or view our brochure to learn more.


Upcoming Events

Visit us at the following conferences:

September 7 - 10, 2014
Nashville, TN
Clarity Group, Inc. | 773-864-8280 |

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This information is provided for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as financial, medical and/or legal advice. Specific questions regarding this information should be addressed to local advisors and legal counsel. � 2014 Clarity Group, Inc. All rights reserved.