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The Risks to Patient Safety From Health System Expansions

  • April 6, 2018

CRICO partnered with Ariadne Labs, a joint system for health systems innovation at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard T.H.Chan School of Public Health, to analyze the patient safety risks for medical institutions undergoing substantial consolidation, including mergers, acquisitions, and service agreements.


Funded by a CRICO grant,  researchers analyzed the patient safety risks for Harvard-affiliated institutions by interviewing clinicians and convening system leaders both locally and nationally.

The study concluded that “System expansions can have substantial effects on clinical care and patient safety, particularly when clinicians encounter changes in their practice setting, patient population, or infrastructure. Institutions must actively plan for, monitor, and manage the resulting risks as part of a comprehensive strategy, including sharing data on quality and safety, and sharing oversight of care for the joint patient population.”

To help mitigate these consolidation risks, a patient safety toolkit has been developed to support clinical planning between institutions prior to implementing major changes.  Freely available, the toolkit provides guidance to institutions on topics to discuss in order to surface and resolve institutional differences that could result in patient safety risks.

 

Citation for the Full-text Article

Haas S, Gawande A, Reynolds ME. The risks to patient safety from health system expansions. JAMA. Published online April 06, 2018. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.2074.

 

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