Attendance at Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority's educational programs was up 70 percent in 2012, according to the authority's newly released annual report.
The report also said nearly twice the number of people participated in free sessions offered by the Patient Safety Liaison program compared to the previous year, and a survey of Patient Safety Officers showed that they made more than 1,200 process changes because of authority guidance — twice as many as in previous years.
“One of the Authority’s main objectives is to educate Pennsylvania’s healthcare providers so they can prevent adverse events from happening to patients,” Dr. John Bulger, chairman of the authority, said in a news release. Increased demand prompted the authority to hire two additional PSLs last year to meet regularly with PSOs and make them aware of resources available to them.
Between Jan. 1 and Dec. 31, 2012, Pennsylvania health care providers including hospitals, ambulatory surgical facilities, birthing or abortion centers, acute-level facilities and nursing homes submitted a total of 267,506 reports via the Pennsylvania Patient Safety Reporting System. About 3.4 percent were classed as serious events that cause harm, while the remainder were incidents or near-misses that did not cause harm.
The percentage of serious events has been on a slight downward trend for the past years, the report said, and 2012 was no exception. Complications of procedures, treatments and tests accounted for 44 percent of all serious event reports in 2012. Reports of events that may have contributed to or resulted in a patient’s death numbered 254 in 2012, an 11.5 percent decrease from the previous year.
The report said not all of those patient deaths were preventable, and they did not necessarily have to involve an error on the part of a health care provider to be reportable.