The importance of patient safety in medical care is paramount. It is due to this understanding that various non-governmental organizations have been established in the US to ensure that patients are safe from harm and injuries that may result during their access to health care. Some of the organizations involved in patient safety initiatives include National Quality Forum, Institute of Safe medication practices, and Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
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National Quality Forum
This organization was founded to regulate national health care quality measurement and reporting through development and implementation of national strategies no health care. In addition NQF promotes the attainment of national goals by establishing education and outreach programs. Since 1999, the organization has worked closely with both private and public health care agencies to ensure health care quality improvement by establishing performance measurement and reporting standards. Currently, the agency has set to improve quality care by embracing information technology to release new standardization referred to as Quality Data Set (NQF, 2009).
Institute of Safe medication practices
ISMP, unlike NQF, is an agency dedicated to eradication and prevention of medication error as well as enhancing safe medication. Through its Medication Error Reporting Program (MERP), the agency has been very aggressive in collecting medical error data, analyzing it to establish the root causes and cooperating with health care providers to establish causes of action to prevent such errors reoccurring in future. The agency has been in existence since 1975 and its current initiatives include publishing educative medication safety newsletters, conducting training programs dedicated to current medication use issues, developing medication safety tools and consultancy services to healthcare systems (ISMP, 2009).
. Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations
Unlike the above two, JCAHO is an agency that oversees and accredits other independent healthcare providers to ensure quality medical care is provided to the public. The membership ranges from home care agencies to hospitals, nursing homes to rehabilitation centers, and health laboratories to health equipment suppliers and so on. Being established in 1951, the agency has been focusing on sentinel events and educating its membership on preventative measures of such events. Currently, the agency, through its International Center for Patient Safety has been focusing on research and advocacy on public safety policies (JCAHO, 2009). In addition, the agency has established Planetree Patient-Centered Hospital Designation Program to promote innovation and quality enhancement in its membership.
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