Michael Ramsay, MD, Chair of the Board of Directors, The Patient Safety Movement Foundation
The Patient Safety Movement Foundation was founded in 2012 with a goal of reducing preventable patient deaths in our hospitals in the United States to zero by 2020. It has been estimated that the preventable deaths were the third leading cause of death, after heart disease and cancer in U.S Hospitals. This number was probably in the region of 200,000 deaths per year. Many safety organizations have attempted to address this problem but only with marginal success. Under the leadership of Joe Kiani, the founder of a MedTech company Masimo, a new approach was constructed to address this issue. All components of the health care system were pulled together to commit to making a difference: health care leadership, hospitals and health care systems, patients and patient families, health care workers, companies involved in health care, politicians, organizations, foundations, corporations and individuals.
“The bottom-line is that every patient needs to have a small monitor of vital signs that can transfer information electronically to the care givers”
This Foundation has been successful and has made a significant difference in reducing preventable hospital deaths. It has now become a global organization that is working in partnership with other patient safety focused entities, to stop, not only preventable deaths but preventable harm by 2030. The goal is to convert our health care systems into high reliability organizations so that the right process is done every time. This will require a National Patient Safety Authority to be formed that can investigate preventable harm and come up with mandated solutions. It will require the MedTech industry to step up and create technology that is open so that data can be integrated and presented as early warnings of potential harm. This data needs to be transmitted to the caregivers so that an intervention can be made in good time. Just like our motor vehicles, when a patient moves out of lane a warning is sent to the nurse or physician. A motor vehicle will alert the driver when he needs to brake in good time, we need this in health care, to prevent patients getting into bad situations. The electronic records can be programmed with AI to predict when a patient is deteriorating in good time to intervene. The early discharge of patients from hospital to home, still requires this monitoring technology to prevent deterioration at home by alerting the caregivers by Wi-Fi. The bottom-line is that every patient needs to have a small monitor of vital signs that can transfer information electronically to the care givers.
The human element in monitoring, administering the correct medication, in predicting outcome needs to be shored up by technology. When we see how fast scientists, researchers, companies and universities can work together at breakneck speed to create a COVID-19 vaccine successfully within a year that has allowed this pandemic to come under control in many areas we can do this for patient safety. We need this combination to look at the causes of preventable harm and together come up with the solutions, test them, and then if successful make the technology available.
We together have the tools to get to a much higher level in health care and create hospitals in to “High Reliability Organizations” and reduce patient preventable harm and death to zero! Working together we can do this. Let’s look at this as the “Moonshot” for 2030!