Safety advocates: Certain patient safety practices should be mandatory

Patient Safety Monitor Insider

November 11, 2015

Hand hygiene compliance and influenza vaccination are two patient safety practices that should be considered mandatory, according to experts at the National Patient Safety Foundation's (NPSF) Lucian Leape Institute.
Robert M. Wachter, MD, professor and interim chairman of the department of medicine, chief of the division of hospital medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), and a member of the Lucian Leape Institute, outlines the "must do" list in a Health Affairs blog post. He argues that both hand hygiene and influenza vaccinations have been associated with "major reductions in harm," therefore hospitals should expect 100% compliance from clinicians. NPSF considered including surgical checklists as well, but opted against their inclusion based on studies that showed universal adherence can be challenging and it does not translate to uniformly improved outcomes.

"While 'no blame' remains the correct reaction to most mistakes, it is not the appropriate response when clinicians are disruptive, incompetent, or willfully choose to ignore evidence-based safety rules," Wachter writes.

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