AMA Says Lost Decade for Patient Safety for Ambulatory Settings

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A new report by the American Medical Association calls the past 10 years a “lost decade” when it came to improving patient safety among outpatient facilities as much of the focus was placed on hospitals.

The report lists key areas where ambulatory patient care quality continues to fall behind such as diagnostic areas and poor communication between medical providers. A 2009 study in the Archives of Internal Medicine found office-based physicians failed to follow-up on abnormal test results 7.7% of the time.

While hospitals have been the focus of intense pressure to reduce healthcare-acquired infections and “never events” such as wrong site surgery, ambulatory care facilities have largely avoided such scrutiny. Media attention including the Institute of Medicine’s landmark report To Err is Human fueled attention on hospitals.

The AMA recommends dramatically increasing the amount of research into reducing patient harm in six key areas: medications, diagnostic, laboratory, clinical knowledge, communication and administrative.

To view the full report click here.

For an article in American Medical News click here.