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CHICAGO, July 27, 2021 – With hospitals and healthcare organizations throughout the U.S. facing renewed imperatives to improve quality of care and patient outcomes, Origami Risk, the industry-leading risk, safety, and insurance Software as a Service (SaaS) technology firm, has published a white paper that examines key obstacles to achieving further reductions of medical errors and provides strategies for improving overall patient safety.

Available free of charge to healthcare professionals, the paper draws from authoritative research on current trends in medical errors, including those related to medications, product and devices, as well as issues arising from the COVID-19 pandemic such as clinical staffing burnout. The paper also explores documented structural and organizational challenges in hospitals and healthcare facilities that impede the establishment of sustainable enterprise-wide safety cultures. These include: poor communication; lack of transparency, actionable data, safety standards, and lack of systems approaches to identify root causes of adverse events.

To overcome these obstacles, Origami recommends adopting a systemwide approach built around established standards and key performance indicators that engages professionals at all levels, encourages information-sharing, collaboration and teamwork, learning and patient-centered care. Specifically, this strategy can be summarized in six-point approach to achieve sustainable improvements in patient safety. The six interconnected measures are:

  1. Creating an inclusive, non-punitive culture of shared accountability and transparency, which promotes widespread stakeholder engagement along with individual ownership of measures to achieve improvement.
  2. Removing silos of data and information transfer, which enables all stakeholders to collaborate more effectively in identifying and addressing specific issues in care and service delivery.
  3. Utilizing risk management technology, which enhances the ability to bring timely analytics to quantify and prioritize issues and drive continuous improvement.
  4. Integrating technology solutions, which facilitates holistic approaches that leverage and link data from multiple sources to speed identification of issues as well as the development of targeted and effective responses.
  5. Strengthening communication channels, which fosters teamwork and speeds identification of potential issues and implementation of solutions.
  6. Implementing frameworks and standardization, ideally relying on proven methodologies such as the ASHRM Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) framework to expedite the ability to drive change, measure and achieve results.

“As the country works through the latest waves of the COVID-19 pandemic there’s a heightened focus throughout healthcare to address clinical staff burnout, reduce medical errors and improve patient outcomes,” said Bill Schwacke, Healthcare Practice Lead at Origami Risk. “As part of our ongoing commitment to our healthcare clients, we carefully reviewed current research and drew insights from leading healthcare organizations. We’re pleased to share our findings in this paper, which hopefully will help advance the dialogue on patient safety.”

To obtain a free copy of Origami’s white paper, Improving Patient Safety: 6 Ways to Move Beyond the Status Quo, click here.