Healthcare is seeing unprecedented gains in quality and safety, but the public is losing patience with what it considers the slow pace of improvement, said Joint Commission President Mark Chassin while delivering a keynote address this morning at the Society of Hospital Medicines annual meeting being held in Chicago.
Bad things keep happening in good hospitals, in Joint Commission-accredited hospitals, Chassin said. They are absolutely inexplicable to public stakeholders. Public stakeholders dont understand how a surgical procedure intended for one patient gets done on somebody else. Public stakeholders cant understand why we cant get our colleagues to wash their hands.
Chassin said that the healthcare industry will not like the consequences. What happens when public stakeholders get impatient? They make laws, Chassin said. Statute is not a very good way to do quality improvement.
It is inescapable that hospitalists will assume the responsibility of quality management, and it will result in elevation of the specialtys status, Chassin said. Nobody else wants this responsibility, he said. There is a unique opportunity for hospitalists to seize that role and rise in the ranks of hospital leadership.