NQF to Release Updated Safe Practices Implementation Guide 

APR 09, 2010

CONTACT: Stacy Fiedler, NQF

NQF to Release Updated Safe Practices Implementation Guide
Manual Outlines 34 NQF Endorsed Practices for Safe Healthcare

Washington, DC – To improve the quality and safety of healthcare in the United States, the National Quality Forum (NQF) is releasing its updated manual Safe Practices for Better Healthcare. The 34 Safe Practices outlined in the manual are tools to prevent healthcare errors and address common issues like healthcare-associated infections, medication errors, surgical errors, and pressure ulcers. The Safe Practices for Better Healthcare manual also includes strategies for implementing the Practices and a guide for involving patients and families in safe care.

“Healthcare in America is not as safe as it should be. Precious lives and dollars are wasted every day on unsafe care,” said Janet Corrigan, NQF president and CEO. “The Safe Practices manual is an excellent resource for large and small healthcare systems. It offers both evidence-based tools and implementation strategies for reducing errors and creating a safer healthcare system.”

Nearly 15 million instances of medical harm occur each year. The costs associated with medical harm have been estimated to cost between $17 billion and $29 billion per year in healthcare expenses, lost worker productivity, lost income, and disability.

To guide healthcare systems in providing safe care, NQF maintains a set of Safe Practices that are ready-to-use tools to improve safety. The Practices have been evaluated, assessed, and endorsed to guide healthcare systems in providing the safest care possible. The 34 endorsed practices and the implementation manual have been updated to reflect new evidence and remain important tools to guide safe healthcare across providers and settings.

Actor Dennis Quaid, whose newborn twins nearly died after they were given an overdose of heparin, will announce the updated manual as part of a presentation on patient safety April 12 at the National Press Club.

Safe Practices are part of NQF’s safety portfolio, which includes safety measures, educational webinars on implementing Safe Practices, and Serious Reportable Events. NQF is also in the process of updating the list of Serious Reportable events, and endorsing additional patient safety measures and a framework for reporting safety events.

The mission of the National Quality Forum is to improve the quality of American healthcare by setting national priorities and goals for performance improvement, endorsing national consensus standards for measuring and publicly reporting on performance, and promoting the attainment of national goals through education and outreach programs. NQF, a nonprofit organization (qualityforum.org) with diverse stakeholders across the public and private health sectors, was established in 1999 and is based in Washington, DC.