25 Oct 5 Biggest Safety Risks in Ambulatory Care

The ECRI Institute, a non-profit patient safety organization, recently released a report on risk in the ambulatory care setting. Most patient safety and risk analyses tend to focus on inpatient facilities, while the vast majority of patient care occurs in outpatient venues. The report examines ambulatory care facilities in three settings (ambulatory care centers, community health centers, and physician practices.)

What the organization discovered is that the major areas of risk fall into five categories:

  1. Diagnostic testing errors
  2. Medication safety events
  3. Falls
  4. HIPAA violations
  5. Security and safety incidents

The main takeaway is that a non-punitive culture of safety with clear, open communication between medical team members is critical to minimizing risk to patients, clinicians, and staff. It’s important to emphasize that any solutions your practice chooses to implement must take into account the human element, and that unintentional errors or lapses be managed through coaching and counseling rather than reflexive sanctioning, where appropriate.

They recommend creating a straightforward process of reporting safety events and near misses in order to collect the data needed to take preventive action.

Would you like to know more? You can find the full report HERE.


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