Patient Safety Movement ranks Intermountain in Top 3 for eliminating preventable deaths

Stock image, St. George News

SALT LAKE CITY — The Patient Safety Movement Foundation named Intermountain Healthcare among its top three in a competition of 400 health care institutions that showed lives were saved through the institutions eliminating preventable deaths; in Intermountain’s case, it was recognized for successfully reducing adverse drug events.

The top three named by the foundation were California-based Hospital Quality Institute, Utah’s Intermountain Healthcare and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.

“Intermountain Healthcare has worked hard for many years implementing strict standards and best practices in patient care, and we are honored to be recognized for our patient safety efforts,” said Intermountain’s Robin Betts, assistant vice president of quality and patient safety. “We appreciate and accept this recognition for all the frontline staff and physicians who really make the difference.”

The Patient Safety Movement Foundation, supported by former President Jimmy Carter, was established to reduce the number of preventable deaths to zero by 2020. The foundation works with patients, health care providers, medical technology companies, government, employers and private payers to address the problems and solutions of patient safety.

“We are very proud of Hospital Quality Institute, Intermountain Healthcare and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center,” Foundation founder Joe Kiani said. “We have the opportunity and responsibility to lead the way in eradicating preventable deaths. I still remember vividly sharing this issue with President Carter. The enormity of the patient safety crisis in the United States and around the world caused him to pause and then without the slightest hesitation he said that he wanted to help the effort. This competition and President Carter’s unwavering support has helped us take the race to save lives to the next level. Every one of the 400 hospitals that entered this competition is a winner, especially their patients.”

Intermountain was recognized for helping to reduce harm to 322 lives by reducing adverse drug events. An adverse drug event typically occurs when a patient has an unexpected reaction to a medication. Intermountain’s goal was to reduce adverse drug events by 7 percent, but through vigilant monitoring and strict compliance with standardized procedures, it exceeded that goal, reducing adverse drug events by 10 percent in 2014 and 2015.

In addition to Intermountain’s commitment to reduce adverse drug events, Patient Safety Movement’s news release said, Intermountain has made commitments to reduce central line-associated blood stream infections and catheter-associated urinary traction infections.

“While we accept this honor, we also realize we have more work to do,” Betts said. “We appreciate the support of the Patient Safety Movement Foundation that pulls together industry stakeholders so that all of us, through collaboration, can make health care safer for everyone.”

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