Are you doing all you can to reduce patient safety risk? The government doesn’t think so. And even with patient infections and injuries on the decline nationally, the St. Louis Post Dispatch reports over 750 hospitals in the US are at risk of Medicare sanctions – that’s a quarter of our nation’s hospitals.
How does that affect you? Medicare, under the Affordable Care Act, is implementing a 1% sanction on at-risk hospitals that will take place starting in October 2014 and will go through September 30, 2015. This 1% could total over $300 million a year in penalties.
So start planning ahead to avoid any penalties. Here are a few things to consider that will ensure you stay on top of this evolving industry issue:
- Create internal communications programs that educate and motivate employees to embrace best practices and implement the desired patient safety measures required
- Ensure the importance of patient safety is delivered through your brand messaging/positioning
- Review your hospital’s patient safety culture and develop internal patient safety materials designed to improve your safety culture
As you can see, there’s more focus on patient safety from the government than ever before. In 2012, the government estimated that 1 out of 8 patients nationally suffered a potentially avoidable complication during a hospital stay. Administrators insist systems are being put into place – but obviously it’s not enough.
As you are facing times of trying to do more with less, keep patient safety in the forefront. Ensure it’s embedded in your brand. For additional information, please reach out. We’d be happy to discuss.