Robert Ferguson Highlights NPSB Vision and Progress at 10th Annual World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit

Pictured from left to right: Abby Towfigh, Sir Liam Donaldson, Robert Ferguson, Sue Sheridan, Najmedin Meshkati, and Leah Binder.

Robert Ferguson was a guest at the 10th Annual World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit on June 1 and 2 in Newport Beach, CA, speaking on a panel about the National Patient Safety Board (NPSB).

Moderated by JHF Board member and President and CEO of The Leapfrog Group Leah Binder, the panel included Ferguson, Sir Liam Donaldson, Najmedin Meshkati, Sue Sheridan, and Abby Towfigh. Panelists discussed why a National Patient Safety Board is being recommended, its status, and what it should be able to do to make health care safer.

Ferguson explained the NPSB would include a public-private R&D team and healthcare safety team, solely focused on preventing harm. Its goal would be to achieve three core functions: Aggregate data across the public and private partners to identify and anticipate harm; study the precursors, causes, and contextual factors when abnormal patterns and recurring harm are identified; and develop solutions for public-private partners to adopt.

"In the midst of the current workforce crisis, this idea of R&D for new solutions is needed now more than ever. When healthcare organizations are experiencing 30 percent vacancy rates with frustrated, burned-out staff, we can't expect them to follow more steps in a manual process without errors. Instead, we need to use human factors engineering and technology to support their work and re-configure their work environment, removing the "crash buttons" that are too present in health care," Ferguson said.

Ferguson provided an update on the NPSB at the Summit, sharing that the NPSB Advocacy Coalition has secured both a Republican and Democratic sponsor in the House and that work is underway to revise the bill introduced last year. Members of the Coalition are also working with the White House Domestic Policy Council to identify opportunities for executive action.

During his remarks, Ferguson thanked Joe Kiani, founder, CEO and chairman of Masimo Corporation, for opening policy windows for the NPSB.

The World Patient Safety, Science & Technology Summit, organized and hosted by the Patient Safety Movement Foundation, featured world-renowned speakers and panelists discussing the latest challenges and solutions in patient safety. Attendees included patient safety experts, clinicians, healthcare administrators, government officials, representatives from MedTech and Biotech industries, patients and patient advocates, academicians, and policymakers. A recording of the panel is available here. 

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