Safer Health Care Through Transparency

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The National Patient Safety Foundation’s (NPSF) February 2015 webinar entitled Shining A Light: Safer Health Care Through Transparency” featured highlights from the NPSF Lucian Leape Institute’s (LLI) new report on the role of transparency in patient safety. Tejal Gandhi, president and chief executive officer of NPSF, moderated a panel of distinguished physician and patient advocates who discussed the report’s findings.

Dr. Robert Wachter, associate chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco, explained that the report was the result of two roundtable discussions that included a variety of stakeholders, including patient advocates, health systems, government, nursing leadership and national organizations, among others. He went on to define the concept of transparency and said that it is needed for improved outcomes, fewer errors, more satisfied patients and lower costs.

To be most effective, transparency needs to take place across four interrelated domains, said Dr. Wachter: between clinicians and patients; among clinicians (peer review); with the public (e.g., public reporting of safety data); and among organizations (e.g., regional collaboratives). After touching on some common barriers to organizational transparency, he said that the LLI had developed 39 recommendations and calls to action for leaders and boards of health care organizations, health quality organizations and government bodies. 

During the remainder of the webinar, Dr. Gary Kaplan, chairman and chief executive officer of Virginia Mason Medical Center, discussed the critical role of leadership in achieving transparency, and Beth Daley Ullem, a patient advocate and governance expert, talked about a new era of patient partnership in improving health care safety and quality.

To download the full LLI report and recommendations, click here.