AHRQ Lists Strategic Radiology Patient Safety Organization
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) approval of the patient safety organization established by the Palmeto, Fla.-based network of radiology practices allows Strategic Radiology to move forward with the sharing of radiology safety and quality best practices. Patient safety organizations listed by the AHRQ exist to help health care providers improve the care they deliver to patients by encouraging them to conduct quality and safety analyses. Through federal protections of legal privilege and confidentiality, authorized by the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, patient safety organizations can foster a culture of safety and create a secure environment where providers can collect and analyze data to identify and reduce the risks and hazards associated with patient care. “We know that clinicians and healthcare organizations want to participate in efforts to improve patient care, but they are often inhibited by fears of liability and sanctions,” said AHRQ Director Carolyn M. Clancy, MD, in the press release. “[Patient safety organizations] facilitate a shared learning approach that supports effective interventions to reduce risk of harm to patients and improve quality.” Strategic Radiology encompasses 15 radiology groups and more than 1,000 individual radiologists. Therefore, it is in a good position to begin to gather the large-scale patient data needed to come to valid conclusions about what best improves safety and quality for patients. “Having 15 nationally recognized radiology groups sharing experiences and best practices within a [patient safety organization] infrastructure will undoubtedly uncover some unique opportunities to enhance the way the radiology industry maintains a safe and quality focused environment,” noted Arl Van Moore, Jr., MD, FACR, chairman of Strategic Radiology, in the press release.