Patient Safety 

NQF and Patient Safety 

NQF’s mission is to improve the quality of healthcare. Patient safety is central to achieving our mission. We know that reducing harm and preventable medical errors saves lives and lowers healthcare costs, a goal shared by everyone that touches the healthcare system.

Patient safety is one of the six aims included in the National Strategy for Quality Improvement in Health Care released in March 2011 by the Department of Health and Human Services. It has also been one of the national priorities outlined by the NQF-convened National Priorities Partnership.

See our efforts in patient safety this year and over the past 10 years.

Measuring Patient Safety

Of the over 600 NQF endorsed measures, approximately 100 are patient-safety focused. NQF has also endorsed 34 Safe Practices for Better Healthcare and 28 Serious Reportable Events. Despite these achievements, there are still significant gaps in the measurement of patient safety. Through convening, technical panels, and other educational forums, NQF works with measure developers and others in healthcare to help understand measurement gaps and encourage strategies to fill them.

Reporting Results

NQF has published a number of reports to encourage providers to adopt best practices and eliminate serious reportable events (SREs). State based reporting has also been enacted in 26 states and the District of Columbia to help providers identify and learn from serious reportable events. By spotlighting national reporting efforts, NQF plays a vital role in encouraging those who provide care to make it safer, and helping people make informed care choices.

Improving Care

We can only improve what we can measure and report on. No one knows this better than our John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award winners. Their efforts inspire us and others to become champions of patient safety and improvement.

NQF and Patient Safety, in past years

Review below the reports, projects, and issue briefs that have impacted our healthcare community throughout the years.

Minus Icon 2011 

JUN 2011  A Patient Safety Measures: Complications Endorsement Maintenance project began in June 2011.
MAY 2011   The NQF Board chose to ratify the updated Serious Reportable Events (SREs) that sought to define healthcare acquired conditions (HACs), develop an expanded list of HACs relevant to non-hospital settings.
MAY 2011   The CDP project, Patient Safety Measures, seeks to identify and endorse cross-cutting patient safety measures across conditions, populations, and settings of care.

Minus Icon 2010 

JUN 2010  NQF looks at state reporting and how states provide lessons in reducing harm and improving care.
APR 2010  The Safe Practices - 2010 Update presents 34 practices that have been demonstrated to be effective in reducing the occurrence of adverse healthcare events.  
JAN 2010  NQF put forth a framework that evaluates efficiency across patient-focused episodes of care.

Minus Icon 2009 

NOV 2009  A Patient Safety Measures project began - focusing on Health Associated Infections (HAIs).
SEP 2009  A Safety Reporting Framework project began focusing on healthcare-acquired conditions (HACs).
SEP 2009  A Serious Reportable Events project began focusing specifically on serious reportable events (SREs).
AUG 2009  Three composite measures were assessed using an evaluation criteria: Mortality for Selected Conditions, Pediatric Patient Safety for Selected Indicators, and Patient Safety for Selected Indicators.
APR 2009  Seven standards comprise guidance for design and implementation strategies for Internet-based public reporting on the healthcare quality of acute care hospitals in the United States.
APR 2009  Six preferred practices have been endorsed to drive quality improvement within the pre- and post-analytic laboratory phases.
MAR 2009  Safe Practices for Better Healthcare were updated to reflect current evidence and offer additional implementation guidance including measures of implementation.

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