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Patients at Risk: Survey Finds Few Healthcare Facilities Have Access to Reliable Patient Harm Data

9 of 10 health safety leaders say patient harm is commonly discussed; only 24 percent say current technologies are capable of showing detailed harm patterns

WASHINGTON, D.C. – July 21, 2014 – Studies show that a third of patients are harmed in U.S. hospitals and the consequent financial burden of this harm may run to over $100 billion annually. But while patient harm is a major topic of conversation among healthcare practitioners, access to reliable harm-monitoring data prevents meaningful improvement in preventing and mitigating risk to patients, according to a new white paper published by Pascal Metrics, a leading Patient Safety Organization (PSO) that specializes in using real-time clinical data to improve the safety and reliability of care.

Pascal Metrics surveyed patient safety professionals from hospitals across the United States during the National Patient Safety Foundation’s 2014 Patient Safety Congress, held May 13-16 in Orlando, Florida. The results of the survey are published in the paper “Current Use of Technology in Automating Patient Harm Identification: A Survey of Patient Safety Leaders.”

Ninety percent of respondents noted that patient harm is commonly discussed in their healthcare system, but only 24 percent said they felt their current technologies show detailed harm rates and patterns in their units. This raises the question of whether they have enough data to make these conversations optimally useful as they look to address the issue of patient harm.

“Most hospital discussions about patient safety are informed by retrospective data that is reported voluntarily and only detects less than 10 percent of all harm,” said Dr. David Classen, chief medical information officer of Pascal Metrics. “Reducing patient harm must start with clinically reliable data that’s available in real or near-real time, so you can do something about it. This survey shows that healthcare professionals understand the importance of patient safety, but too often lack the tools to effectively measure risk or respond to it in a timely manner.”

Ninety-eight percent of respondents agreed that it would be valuable to have technology that showed them patient harm risks and patterns in near real-time. Pascal Metrics is leading the way with Risk Trigger® Monitoring, a clinical software service that automates the detection of comprehensive harm across the hospital, monitoring electronic medical records and other health IT data in real-time with advanced trigger methodologies and reporting back to front-line providers when intervention is required. In early client partners, even severe harm is being documented before clinical teams report through more traditional methods.

For full survey results, contact Margeaux Appel at 703.722.8930 or appel@pinkstongroup.com.

About Pascal Metrics

Pascal Metrics is the first and only Patient Safety Organization (PSO) that specializes in providing real-time patient safety and clinical improvement services to reduce patient harm and related cost. Pascal’s unique integration of clinical expertise and cloud-based services supports the delivery of comprehensive healthcare analytics and solutions in academic, community, government and private hospitals and healthcare systems in North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia, making Pascal a leader in the areas of safety culture, adverse event management and leadership development. Pascal is based in Washington, D.C.