As we know Mortality rates are not the only indicator for measuring hospital safety. Did you know that in the early 1990s when studies found large numbers of potentially preventable deaths the errors were initially ascribed to individual doctors and nurses, but later it was recognised that errors were mainly related to failure of systems rather than individuals.
According to the enclosed article published recently in the Medical Journal of Australia “Mortality is not necessarily a good measure of hospital safety. It depends more on the nature of the patient’s underlying clinical state and the type of intervention than on the safety of the hospital, and its prevention (as a measure of patient safety) contributes to the failure of hospitals to recognise and appropriately manage patients who are naturally at the end of life.”
“It is difficult to find agreement on the best ways to measure patient safety in hospitals and, as a result of the enormous resources devoted to improving and studying safety, it is difficult to show that patient safety has improved. However, the concept of safety is beginning to include post-hospital outcomes, such as quality of life.”
The article highlights the benefits of the use of a rapid response system, A rapid response system is an organisation wide patient safety system which recognises the deterioration of a patient’s condition and provides urgent and appropriate care. Evaluating the impact of a rapid response system can provide information on hospital safety, including potentially preventable deaths and cardiac arrests.
This article may provide information to continue to support the use of the data from rapid response system outcomes to support your organisations quality indicators and provide evidence for 3rd party reviews.