Karen Feinstein Makes Case for National Safety Authority to Healthcare Value Hub

On October 16, Jewish Healthcare Foundation's President and CEO Karen Wolk Feinstein, PhD spoke at Altarum's Healthcare Value Hub webinar, "Brainstorming Solutions to Medical Harm: Creating a National Patient Safety Authority." Altarum is a national nonprofit health and healthcare research and consulting organization focused on creating solutions to advance the health of vulnerable and publicly insured populations. A recording of Karen's comments and the webinar can be viewed here.

Karen called for a "swerve" towards a new patient safety solution and introduced the concept of the National Patient and Provider Safety Authority (NPSA). The NPSA would be a data-driven, nonpunitive, collaborative approach to protecting patients and providers, modeled after the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB). As an independent federal agency, the NPSA would leverage autonomous technologies and big data to improve safety systems and centralize and unify patient safety efforts nationally.

A collaboration of current Patient Safety Organizations with an NPSA would have great potential for developing standardized data collection and processes, she said, adding that the United States is well positioned to move on an NPSA. Other industries have already used automated technologies to great success, the U.S. is growing in its capacity for data collection, and healthcare has begun to develop autonomous technologies like the Pascal Metrics systems and MDIRA.

The other panelists were John T. James, PhD, Founder, Patient Safety America and Former Chief Toxicologist at NASA Johnson Space Center, who brought a patient perspective to the discussion, and Regina Hoffman, MBA, RN, Executive Director of Pennsylvania's Patient Safety Authority and Editor-in-Chief of Patient Safety, who spoke on states' action for patient safety.

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