Managing risk: safe patients, secure budget

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处理的风险: 安全患者,安全预算

Olga Deshchenko, DOTmed News Reporter | May 26, 2010

"HCA was addressing their chief risk area, which is perinatal safety. Their obstetrical risk was crippling the system," says Harrington. "We partnered directly with HCA and their thought leaders to develop our advanced electronic fetal monitoring course."

Throughout 120 hospitals nationwide, 4,800 nurses and 2,500 physicians completed APS coursework. As a result of the initiative, HCA saw a 48 percent reduction in claims.

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"We have a loss of pre-initiative in excess of $200 million to the nadir of 2006 with a cost of less than $12 million," says Harrington. "Now there's still work to be done, but that's a significant impact on perinatal claims, what they attribute to narrowly $80 million on an annual basis in savings."

APS also played a role in an extensive perinatal safety initiative launched by the Risk Management Foundation of the Harvard Medical Institutions. In this case, adverse outcomes were used as a measure to evaluate the success of the initiative in real time.

"They had a 62 percent drop in claims, again, representing significant organizations," says Harrington.

At first, the company mostly focused on providing medical illustrations for defense counsel in cases of medical malpractice claims. APS expanded its business after not only gaining experience in understanding where medical errors originate, but also recognizing how they can be prevented.

"We learned early on that if we could educate doctors to think more proactively in their management, to improve the team dynamic, the coordination and communication, we could have an impact on adverse events right from the beginning," says Harrington. "If an organization reduces its adverse events, its claims will fall off as a result."

Perinatal claims are the top liability concern for hospitals nationwide, closely trailed by surgical errors. APS recently partnered with the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) to create courseware for the OR Safety Series, designed to cultivate the expertise of nurses in surgical settings.

"In our courses, we are encouraging all caregivers to recognize that they have a voice," says Harrington. "Not only do they have voice, but they have a responsibility to speak up as a part of the care team. And that is what our mission is all about: empowering caregivers to work together as a cohesive team to improve outcomes for their patients."

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