Patient Safety Information for Providers
- Background Information
- Improving How Care is Provided
- Provider Focused Improvements
- Hospital Focused Improvements
Despite the best intentions, a high rate of largely preventable adverse events occur that cause harm to patients. There is no one single solution to this problem, rather many solutions must be in place to improve patient safety.
Read the landmark report "To Err is Human" by the Institute of Medicine
Improving How Care Is Provided
Medical errors are adverse patient events that could have been prevented. Use these resources to learn how to avoid medical errors and what to do when there is an error.
Free abridged report on 34 NQF practices to reduce adverse events
Learn how checklists help prevent medical errors
Learn how to disclose errors to patients
Reducing Health Care Associated Infections (HAIs)
Health care associated infections occur while a patient receives treatment for another condition in a health care setting.
CDC recommendations to prevent specific HAIs
HHS interactive training video on prevention of HAIs
MRSA toolkit from CDC
Proper hand hygiene is the single most effective method to reduce hospital-acquired infections.
Visit this comprehensive CDC Website on hand hygiene
Take this short CDC course on hand hygiene key concepts
WHO brochure shows hand hygiene techniques
Preventing Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)
Venous thromboembolism (VTE) is the most common preventable cause of hospital death. Pharmacologic methods to prevent VTE are safe, effective, and cost-effective.
Toolkit on preventing VTE
Presentation on VTE prevention in the hospital
Patient Health Literacy and Communication
Effective communication with patients improves outcomes. Further, low health literacy is associated with negative outcomes, high costs, and unnecessary visits.
AMA video on health literacy and patient safety
Learn how to improve health literacy
Toolkit to improve language services for patients
Calculates how many of your patients may have low health literacy
Providers partner with patients and their family to identify and satisfy the full range of patient needs in a patient-centered approach.
Report on best practices and common barriers to patient-centered care
Roadmap to providing patient-centered care
Provider Focused Improvements
Teamwork and Communication Among Providers
Safe health care depends on highly trained individuals with disparate roles and responsibilities acting together in the best interests of the patient.
Learn more about teamwork training
Teamwork training program
Learn about communication during patient handovers
Physician's Role in Medication Reconciliation
Medication reconciliation is the process of comparing a patient's medication orders to all of the medications the patient is taking. Reconciliation helps avoid medication errors such as omissions, duplications, dosage errors, or drug interactions.
Learn about medication reconciliation
Learn more computerized provider order entry (CPOE)
Toolkit on medication reconciliation
Use this list of commonly confused drug names
Improving the culture of safety is essential for improving overall health care quality. Measuring your organization's safety culture through staff surveys is a useful way to understand your culture of safety and identify areas that need improvement.
Learn more about safety culture
10 patient safety tips from AHRQ for hospitals to prevent adverse events
Institute for Healthcare Improvement's leadership guide to patient safety
Learn about behaviors that undermine a culture of safety
Use these surveys to find out if your organization has a safety culture