While much attention is devoted to reducing medical errors in hospitals, there's a lesser focus on rooting out patient care errors in emergency medical services (EMS). To address that gap, the Missouri Center for Patient Safety (MOCPS) is developing a program to help medical professionals systematically improve quality and reduce errors during treatment and transport provided by ambulance service providers.
MOCPS is working with healthcare software provider Quantros to create a database to collect information about medical errors while embarking on a state-wide effort to encourage Missouri's ambulance community to report medical errors. According to Carol Hafley, assistant director for the Center, "This program is the first of its kind in the nation to bring the legal reporting protections of a federally-designated patient safety organization, combined with a focus on just culture, to EMS providers. They need to feel safe reporting this information in order to learn and improve the quality of pre-hospital care."
The project is funded by a $595,195 grant from the Missouri Foundation for Health. The MOCPS is collaborating with the Missouri Ambulance Association to promote the project among Missouri's ambulance services.
Quantros is working with MOCPS to develop a "whole new language" to report EMS-related patient safety incidents, a project that Jay Lechtman, Quantros Vice President of Consulting and Program Development, sees as having potential to serve as a national model. "It expands patient safety reporting from its traditional home in acute care facilities to clinical first responders and will cover the critical period between the patient's home and the hospital," Lechtman said.
The federal Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005 (Patient Safety Act) authorized the creation of PSOs to improve the quality and safety of U.S. healthcare delivery. The Patient Safety Act encourages clinicians and health care organizations to voluntarily report and share quality and patient safety information to PSOs without fear of legal discovery. Missouri hospitals are reporting patient safety incident data to MOCPS now. The expansion will result in a new flow of patient safety data from EMS providers.
MOCPS has led error intervention programs in Missouri, including the "Banding Together - For Patient Safety;" the "Missouri Safe Surgery Saves Lives - DASH!" and the "Just Culture Collaborative," the latter an effort to change culture among healthcare providers to encourage reporting of errors and use that information as a way to improve patient care.
About the Missouri Center for Patient Safety (MOCPS)
MOCPS was established in 2005 by the Missouri Hospital Association, the Missouri State Medical Association and Primaris. Based in Jefferson City, MO, MOCPS' mission is "to be a leader in providing solutions and resources to improve patient safety and the quality of health care delivery by conducting activities in collaboration with health care providers, physicians, purchasers, consumers and government."
About the Quantros Patient Safety Center
The Quantros Patient Safety Center (QPSC) is a national-scope, federally-listed, component PSO. Through its industry-leading PSO Manager (PSOM™) application, Quantros powers PSOs in Florida, North Carolina, Missouri, California and Maryland.
Quantros (quantros.com) is a leading software and services provider to the healthcare industry. Its data management, decision support analytics and clinical business intelligence solutions support the healthcare industry in the areas of safety and risk management, quality and performance improvement, outcomes monitoring, accreditation and compliance.