News | May 07, 2008

VHA Foundation Launches National CEO Patient SafetyNetwork

May 8, 2008 - The VHA Foundation formally launched the Health Care SafetyNetwork, a national program to open dialogue among hospital CEOs in an area where most have little formal training, creating a two-year initiative to provide a forum where CEOs can learn from peers and patient safety experts about ways to create a culture that emphasizes safety.

New research released this week by the VHA Foundation demonstrates the need for a patient safety resource specifically designed for CEOs. The national survey of hospital CEOs revealed that while more than two-thirds (68 percent) of hospital leaders have faced a significant patient safety event in the last three years, only small percentages reported feeling strongly confident about the practices put in place to prevent incidents and in their skills needed to handle one.

-15 percent strongly agreed that safety improvements are effectively implemented and monitored.

-20 percent strongly agree that they are confident when speaking with a patient’s family regarding a patient safety related incident.

-18 percent strongly agree that they can confidently speak with the media about a patient safety event.

-70 percent agree that consumer concerns about safety in hospitals are justified.

To date, very few patient safety education programs have been focused on educating the CEO, and none are specifically designed to deal with their intense time demands and unique learning styles. The survey revealed that CEOs feel that direct interaction with peers is the most useful source for new patient safety knowledge and skills. Based on these findings, the Health
Care SafetyNetwork is designed to offer CEOs unprecedented access to peers and national safety experts through face-to-face, facilitated and virtual networking opportunities.

The program will also offer CEOs across the industry with an online database of leading practices and relevant content on safety issues. This will include case studies that will focus on the real life experiences of their peers in dealing with patient safety issues such as sentinel events, managing challenging physicians and building a culture of safety.

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