IHI’s Tejal Gandhi – Continuous improvement, understanding needs and roles across the organization and leveraging expertise are all important in safety initiatives. When I’ve talked about the three keys to a compelling business case for patient safety, collaborating far and wide is number one.
I explain how safety professionals and finance teams must work together because their shared knowledge can demonstrate how important patient safety initiatives are to the organization’s reputation and market share. They need to develop a common language to help frame safety issues as important business concerns. But collaboration shouldn’t stop there. As you said, insights from other stakeholders, colleagues, or any number of potential subject matter experts must help inform the safety initiative.
Philips’ Austin O’Connell – In imaging, reliability and consistency are key tenets of ensuring quality outcomes. In Diagnostic Imaging at Philips, we have processes in place to consistently monitor and measure to ensure uptime, maintain quality, and mitigate risk. While these measures are ultimately designed for delivering patient care that is safe and effective, they also provide business benefits because by not having to bring people back in for re-scans, healthcare organizations can increase throughput which reduces overall cost. It’s about that holistic view of enabling hospitals to deliver care in the most expeditious way but also the most caring and safest way not just for patients but staff as well. The two goals can co-exist and be mutually beneficial.
IHI’s Tejal Gandhi – That’s true. We advocate choosing the right data to tell the story from both a financial and clinical perspective. It’s important to gather key metrics and trends from financial and clinical departments and to reference state or national data when available to support safety initiatives. Some types of metrics such as staff retention or patient satisfaction may be less easily quantified in terms of “hard dollars” but they tie into reliability and consistency efforts like the ones you’ve mentioned. You can’t make a compelling business case for safety if you can’t quantify it.