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69,519 Lives Saved

February 6, 2017

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The Patient Safety Movement Foundation (PSMF) announced today, at the 5th Annual Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit, that 69,519 lives were saved in 2016, thanks to the efforts of more than 3526 hospitals committing to patient safety and the 70 healthcare technology companies who have signed an open data pledge.

During his keynote address on the first day of the Summit, former Vice President Joe Biden noted the importance of being “unwilling to postpone” the fight to achieve zero preventable deaths by 2020. As he stated, “We cannot spend billions on sublime new therapies to save lives from cancer, only to lose them tragically as a consequence of predictable mistakes.”

Joe Kiani, Founder of the Patient Safety Movement, spoke of the progress made during 2016: “By January 2016 we announced 24,643 lives were saved, and we made the goal to reach 50,000 lives saved by this year. As of February 2017, we've more than doubled that number.”

During today’s proceedings, there was an exclusive screening of the documentary Clean Hands. Clean Hands tells the story of Professor Didier Pittet’s 20-year campaign to promote hand hygiene as a means of preventing nosocomial infections, which are estimated to kill 16 million people worldwide each year. Professor Pittet is an ambassador to the World Health Organization and a speaker at this year’s Summit.

Also taking place today was a panel discussion on the first of three new Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS) introduced at this year’s event, regarding venous thromboembolism (VTE). The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) estimates that as many as 70% of hospital-acquired cases of VTE are preventable, making the need for hospitals to improve awareness and develop new processes acute. The panel, moderated by Mike Durkin, the British National Health Service’s Director of Patient Safety, discussed the challenges surrounding VTE prevention.

Honored at the first day of the Summit were those who have made the greatest contributions in 2016 toward achieving the PSMF’s goal of zero preventable patient deaths by 2020. The 2016 Humanitarian Awards recognized the lifesaving achievements of the following leaders in patient safety:

Patrick H. Conway, MD, MSc

As the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Acting Principal Deputy Administrator and Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Conway oversees vital programs that serve the more than 130 million Americans who receive health care services through Medicare, Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Health Insurance Marketplace. He and his team work to improve quality, affordability, access, and health outcomes. In 2014, Dr. Conway was elected to the National Academy of Medicine Institute of Medicine (IOM), one of the highest honors in the fields of health and medicine. Dr. Conway, in receiving the award said, "I am honored and humbled to receive the patient safety movement humanitarian award. I look forward to continuing to help improve patient safety across the nation."

Dr. Dave Mayer, MD

Dr. Mayer is Vice President of Quality and Safety for MedStar Health, the largest healthcare provider in the mid-Atlantic region. He oversees the infrastructure for clinical quality and its operational efficiency and designs, and directs system-wide activity for patient safety and risk-reduction programs. Under Mayer, MedStar has been at the vanguard of embracing transparency in communications with patients and families when something goes wrong in treatment. Recently, MedStar worked with the US Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) to develop and pilot a toolkit for their Communication and Optimal Resolution (CANDOR) program. In receiving the award, Dr. Mayer said, “It’s an amazing honor to be recognized by Joe Kiani and the Patient Safety Movement, to be honored with other recipients who have worked so hard to reduce medical harm. I am humbled to be included with such a wonderful group.”

Annamarie Saarinen

Ms. Saarinen is the CEO of the Newborn Foundation. She has been recognized by the Patient Safety Movement for spearheading the national effort to ensure all newborns are screened for the most prevalent birth defect, critical congenital heart disease (CCHD), which afflicts one in every 100 newborns. The Newborn Foundation is the first national organization focused on leveraging health, medtech, and biotechnology to improve outcomes and reduce disparities specifically for newborns. Through her work, 99% of babies are now screened for CCHD in the US every year. In receiving the award, Ms. Saarinen noted, “I am surprised and humbled to receive the Humanitarian award from the Patient Safety Movement Foundation. I am grateful for the work Dr. Granelli has done in heart disease which has created a strong platform for the Newborn Foundation to help improve and save the lives of babies. It has been an incredible opportunity to work with the Patient Safety Movement and the other advocates toward this end.”

Dr. Anne de-Wahl Granelli, PhD, MBA

Dr. Granelli has spent the last decade researching CCHD screening and it is because of her work that organizations like Annamarie Saarinen's, the Newborn Foundation, have been able to successfully create policies across the US and the world to ensure that babies don’t leave the hospital without being screened. Dr. Granelli received the award in conjunction with Annamarie to show the great work that has been accomplished in 2016 through continued research. Dr. Granelli said, “I am so honored to be a recipient of the Humanitarian award. It is truly amazing. It has also been a privilege to work with Annamarie Saarinen, and to have such an impact on the lives of babies with critical congenital heart disease.”

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