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In today’s healthcare services, patient safety is an integral concern that should be enhanced to ensure that patients do not suffer harm from medical errors or other medical care related situations. Various federal sponsored organizations in patient safety initiatives include Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Veteran Affairs National Center for Patient Safety (VA NCPS).
Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ)
This is a governmental organization under the Department of Health and Human Services dealing with research on patient safety in medical care and ensuring that there is improved quality, safety, efficiency and effectiveness of healthcare in healthcare institutions for all residents of America (AHRQ, 2009). The major initiatives of the AHRQ are to conduct patient safety research dissemination and education, addressing the effects of health care working conditions on quality care, providing clinical informatics to promote patient safety, developing centers for evaluation and research in patient safety and promoting patients involvement in health care (through campaigns such as the superheroes that encourages parents be involved in preventive care, ‘Real Men wear Gown’ campaign to encourage middle aged adult to be involved in preventive screening tests for the benefit of their families and themselves, and the provision of new tools to pharmacies to enhance provision of better quality care to patients with limited health literacy). These initiatives have been effective especially in reducing the medical errors in medical care.
Food and Drug Administration
This is a governmental agency responsible for ensuring public health safety and security is available through food and drug regulation initiatives. According to FDA website (2009), the agency regulates safety of both “human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, food supply, cosmetics and radiation emitting products” to minimize injury to human beings. In addition, the agency assists public to access quality information on effective use of medicine and food as well as facilitating innovation on safe, effective and affordable foods and drugs. These initiatives haven effective in protecting the public from harmful effects of the foods and drugs.
Veteran Affairs National Center for Patient Safety
This is an agency under the Department of Veterans Affairs that deals with ensuring provision of health care safety to the veterans of the US mostly drawn from the military. The agency is mandated with responsibility of enhancing care given to patients and reducing the adverse medical effects from medical care through activities such as operations, training programs and care analysis. Technologically based training programs for the veterans on health matters have been provided to educate the public on health measures that mitigate harm. Other major initiatives of NCPS are medical team training, publishing safety alerts and advisories related to medication, curriculum development on patient safety for use in learning institutions, prevention of retained surgical items, and establishment of Patient Safety Improvement Corps for training state health officials US DVA, 2009). The programs have been effective especially the training programs since the veterans and their families have been able to access quality care.