May 2, 2016 – Measurement


Anchor lead: Better measures are needed to assess patient safety, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Patient safety could get a huge boost with better tools to measure it.  That’s according to Peter Pronovost, a patient safety expert at Johns Hopkins and author of a recent paper on the need for better measurement in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Pronovost: In one hand we say well we have too many measures and on the other hand we say we have too few measures.  How might we explore that? Well, we know for example the top five or ten reasons patients die needlessly in this country.  They’re infections and blood clots, and sadly, that outside of infections we don’t have a valid way to measure those major causes of death, and we should and we could. If we were to charge CDC, which has developed valid ways of measuring infections, with developing ways of measuring these other causes of harm.   :32

Pronovost is hopeful such measurement tools will soon be available and help provide real data on risks and efficacy of strategies to avert them for patients. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.