Georgia Watch Joins National Campaign to Improve Patient Safety

April 29, 2011

In an effort to improve patient safety and reduce health care-acquired infections (HAIs), Georgia Watch is joining the national Campaign for Better Care through their Healthy Hospital Initiative. This initiative will act in support of the federal Partnership for Patients, a new public-private partnership through the Department of Health and Human Services aimed at improving the quality, safety and affordability of health care for all Americans.

Central to the mission of the Healthy Hospital Initiative is to encourage Atlanta hospitals to sign a Partnership for Patients pledge. Hospitals that sign on will set goals to reduce infections and other forms of harm that too frequently occur during a hospital stay, as well as subsequent avoidable re-admissions. Hospitals will also commit to engage with patients in order to make care safer, improve provider-patient communication, and increase coordinated, patient-centered care.

Several Atlanta hospitals are already on board with these goals, among them, Piedmont Hospital, Atlanta Medical Center and Emory University Hospital.

In our role as a partner in these efforts, Georgia Watch will provide information and resources to help health care consumers better understand the issues of patient safety and allow them to more effectively engage with their providers.

“Adverse events at our hospitals can affect anyone. We commend those hospitals that have already signed the Partnership for Patients pledge, and hope more soon join their ranks,” says Holly Lang, Hospital Accountability Project Director. “We are enthusiastic to be a part of this positive partnership between consumers, hospitals and advocates.”

Patient safety has long been a priority for Georgia Watch, as 1.7 million HAIs are reported annually, affect approximately one in every 20 patients, and result in 100,000 deaths. These frightening statistics are particularly devastating to seniors and others who are most vulnerable to breaches in patient safety.

“With billions of dollars in resulting costs accrued from hospital readmission every year, patient safety is essential to ensuring both the physical and fiscal health of Georgians,” says Lang.