New guidelines launched by the National Patient Safety Foundation represent a low-tech form of communication, but advocates say the new universal patient compact is a way to improve care.
The compact outlines a pledge that providers and patients take during a hospital stay while reaffirming the belief held by the safety organization that patients and their families are key components to safe, reliable treatment. The hope is that providers will use the compact to foster better communication, said Mary Beth Navarra-Sirio, vice president of patient safety and quality for McKesson Corp. The health information technology giant was a sponsor of the annual 2007 McKesson Nursing Leadership Congress, where the idea for the patient compact was first floated. At the congress, between 100 and 125 nursing executives discussed the need for more patient and family involvement, she said.
After the initial discussion at the nursing conference, McKesson and the safety foundation tested the compact in several focus groups, including providers, hospitals, patients and patient advocates. Between 10 and 15 hospitals participated in those groups and most of those have agreed to adopt the compact now during the national launch, Navarra-Sirio said.