The Patient Safety Discussion Toolkit for System Expansion has been developed for use by physicians during the pre-affiliation phase of a merger, acquisition, or affiliation of two organizations that provide clinical care.

Clinical affiliations lead to improved patient care when clinicians and staff at both organizations learn from one another and develop strong professional relationships. While network development administrators might turn their attention to other projects after affiliation, physicians will continue to work across diverse hospital settings. Thus, it is imperative that they develop relationships around joint problem solving.

This discussion toolkit can help clinical leaders identify differences in clinical practice, resources, and culture that are most likely to affect patient safety. The process of uncovering and discussing those differences can also help foster a climate of understanding, trust and partnership.

Key goals:

  • Both parties feel that they can trust and be trusted
  • Articulate/prioritize areas that require change to be part of a common system
  • Find opportunities to create something better

The toolkit contains:

  • High-priority questions (a subset of topics from the All-Specialty Discussion Guide)
  • All-Specialty Discussion Guide
  • Supplemental obstetrics considerations
  • Supplemental emergency medicine considerations
  • Supplemental surgery considerations

Each component contains a series of prompts for generating discussion around key topics. The topics are representative, not comprehensive. We recommend that you use them as a foundation for deeper exploration and discussion over time. Begin with the All-specialty discussion guide as your main reference, then consider using the supplemental specialty-specific considerations as appropriate.

Within each guide, prompts are organized by category:

  • Emergency situations
  • Infrastructure and resources
  • Roles and responsibilities
  • Patient safety and quality improvement
  • Culture [All-Specialty Discussion Guide only]
  • Quantitative patient safety parameters

For more information on How to Use the Patient Safety Tools During System Expansion, visit Ariadne Labs Safe Expansion site.

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