Patient Safety Initiatives
We believe that bringing the right people together from across the healthcare community is the best way to address the complicated challenges facing the healthcare technology field today. The Foundation aims to engage the healthcare community in multidisciplinary safety initiatives that strengthen the development, management, and use of healthcare technology for improved patient outcomes. Our vision is the safe adoption and safe use of healthcare technology.
Our first initiatives are focused on:
- Infusion Therapy Safety
- Clinical Alarm Systems
- Continuous Monitoring of Patients on Opioids
- Home Health
These topics all represent complicated, multidisciplinary, interrelated challenges involving systems of systems. Solving high-profile patient safety problems like these will require the combined efforts of diverse professionals.
The Foundation effort started in early 2010 with concerns that the existing standard on infusion pumps was not adequately addressing the problems of these widely-used devices. At the same time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was preparing for a major initiative to improve pump safety, based on data showing at least 56,000 reported adverse incidents and 87 pump recalls over a five-year period. AAMI and FDA partnered to host a landmark summit on the issue in October 2010.
The event facilitated extensive discussion between key stakeholders in order to set a clear direction for improving infusion systems safety. The event also sparked the idea to launch an organization that would work on safety issues that cannot be addressed through standards alone. The confluence of these events led to the launch of safety initiatives within AAMI in 2011, and the NCHTS as its advisory body.
Today, under the Foundation umbrella, more than 100 committed individuals are continuing to pursue the ideas generated at that first summit in pursuit of the goal that “no patient will be harmed by healthcare technology.” Additional safety issues are now being addressed. Additional summits have been held to address: clinical alarm management, the reprocessing of reusable medical devices, interoperability of healthcare technologies, and ventilator technology.