Six years after the Institute of Medicine's first groundbreaking report on patient safety and four years after its follow-up, hospitals still don't come close to meeting IOM recommendations for patient-safety systems, according to a report in the Journal of the American Medical Association. "Data are consistent with recent reports that patient-safety system progress is slow and is a cause for great concern," the report said. "Efforts for improvement must be accelerated."
The report was based on answers to a 91-question survey completed by 107 hospitals in Utah and Missouri in both 2002 and 2004. Hospitals ranked their adoption of various patient-safety tools on a seven-point scale, from no activity to full implementation. The tools included computerized physician order-entry systems, computerized test results, assessments of adverse effects, specific patient-safety policies, and use of data in patient-safety programs, among others. The percentage of hospitals with systems in place for voluntary reporting of errors was up to 69.9% in 2004 from 60.9% in 2002, according to the survey. The percentage of hospitals with fully implemented computerized physician order-entry systems had increased to 34% in 2004 from 33% in 2002.
Read the abstract.