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November 7, 2007

A Framework for Health Care Organizations to Develop and Evaluate a Safety Scorecard

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Departments of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine and Surgery (Drs Pronovost and Berenholtz) and Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine (Dr Needham), School of Medicine; and Department of Health Policy and Management, Bloomberg School of Public Health (Dr Pronovost), Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland.

JAMA. 2007;298(17):2063-2065. doi:10.1001/jama.298.17.2063

The demand to improve patient safety is increasing within health care organizations. Boards of trustees have a fiduciary responsibility to ensure patient safety, and senior management is often charged with evaluating and improving patient safety. External agencies such as the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Leapfrog Group, and the Joint Commission have developed measures to evaluate patient safety and quality of care.

Many hospitals have responded to this heightened focus on patient safety by creating scorecards to evaluate and publicly report progress in improving quality and safety. Scorecards are attractive because hospital leaders and other interested parties can quickly obtain a broad overview of patient safety performance. These scorecards tend to include measures required by the CMS, The Joint Commission, and insurers, as well as measures developed by individual hospitals for local improvement. Scorecards are increasingly used to evaluate the performance of physicians and senior management.1,2

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