The Connecticut Department of Public Health recently released its 2016 Adverse Event Report and sadly, there were only small changes from the prior year. In fact, while a few events were reduced, there were thirteen wrong site surgeries, one wrong surgical procedure performed on a patient and even one wrong patient surgery. This is not acceptable and it means that the Connecticut Center for Patient Safety has our work cut out for us and must continue to raise awareness, share patient safety strategies and speak with healthcare and policy leaders to bring about change and improvement. These are just some examples of what we will be focusing on this coming year.
The Connecticut Center for Patient Safety holds a unique position within the state of Connecticut and nationally. We are one of the few organizations whose primary goal is to improve patient safety and represent the patient perspective without any other underlying agenda. We promote high quality, safe healthcare and the rights of patients by promoting person-centered care, best practices and transparency in healthcare. We were established as a non-profit over ten years ago by a small group of residents who had been directly impacted by the realities of medical harm. Through their stories, many of which can be read on our website, we brought about a heightened awareness of the personal impact of medical errors and patient harm; we put faces to the data. As a result of our efforts, infection data and adverse event reports are published annually in Connecticut. Our state leaders can better target some of what needs to be improved in health care delivery since this is now identified and transparent for everyone to see. Today, we are a highly regarded organization with seats on state and national policy and advisory committees and organizations. Furthermore, we are engaged by others as speakers on various patient safety and healthcare related topics. We provide educational presentations and workshops to state nursing school students and medical and other health science students - the healthcare leaders of tomorrow. Equally as important, we regularly speak with patient and healthcare consumer groups at our senior centers and elsewhere to empower them as effective, engaged patients.
The need for our involvement and the requests for our participation in many events and activities has continued to grow. However, as we have experienced over the past few years, the slower economy has also continued to impact us. We rely heavily on dedicated donors and foundation grants for our support and are developing additional income streams as well. With the backing of a strong, engaged board of directors, we remain vibrant and responsive to the need for patients, the patient perspective and the patient voice to be an included in all healthcare conversations. This drives our work.
We are providing our services in many ways including our website, which our members tell us has "so much helpful information for patients and providers in one place", our Facebook page through which we keep members informed of current health care news, our monthly newsletter and through our public events, workshops and speaking engagements. It is most meaningful when we hear from a student who attended one of our workshops that "I am now more certain than ever that this is what I want to do" or "this gave me a whole new perspective on healthcare". We are also committed to supporting and advancing person-centered care. While you may hear this term used often, patients continue to have difficulty determining the costs of their care, understanding their treatment plans and options and accessing their medical records in real time. This is not person-centered care and we are working on improving it.
Our efforts at CTCPS have been bolstered by an amazing and supportive membership including many active volunteers. It is the dedication and support of you, our members, that has allowed this past year to be a year of significant growth and impact. We have reached a much larger audience, are more in demand, and have continued to impact patient safety and healthcare in Connecticut and nationally. We are all patients at one time or another and our work in the coming year can only be accomplished with your input, help and support. For this, we thank you! Read More
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