Now Viewing: Patient safety and outcomes

A Dispatch from the Cutting Edge of Placebo Studies

Jul 9, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Brian C. Quinn

Courtesy of The Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter (PiPS) Courtesy of The Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter (PiPS)

It’s a rare and exciting opportunity to witness a new field of research blossom. Although working on the cutting edge is thrilling for those researchers who operate there, day in and day out—it’s also scary. Every step they take leads them into more uncharted territory.

I recently attended the first of five public forums on the science of placebos, hosted by Pioneer grantee the Program in Placebo Studies and the Therapeutic Encounter (PiPS). This forum series, co-sponsored by the Pioneer Portfolio, offers rare public access to the small but burgeoning field of placebo studies.

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Introducing a New Way to Measure Health Care Quality

Apr 18, 2013, 8:00 AM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

A Pioneering Way to Measure Health Care Quality

In this video, Helen Darling of The National Business Group on Health explains how employers will benefit from the Global Cardiovascular Risk (GCVR) score, a new quality improvement tool aimed at reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

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Patient-Centered: Good Health Care and Good Design

Apr 1, 2013, 6:00 AM, Posted by Beth Toner

Beth Toner

We’ve got design on our minds — from the design of health care’s physical environment to the design of the patient-provider interaction. We know all play a role in improving patient safety, the quality of care and even health outcomes.

To expand our understanding of design and to meet innovators who are putting their ideas into action, the Pioneer team has been sponsoring conferences, like the Mayo Clinic’s Transform, and attending others, like the GAIN—the AIGA Design for Social Value Conference or the Healthcare Experience Design conference, which I attended last week.

What is most intriguing to me about design — in realm of health care and more broadly — is how the ideas about how to do it right mirror our thinking about health care in general: it needs to be centered on the patient, both their needs and their unique experiences.

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PatientsLikeMe Project Pioneers Use of Outcomes Data That Are Meaningful To Patients

Feb 25, 2013, 12:33 PM, Posted by Pioneer Blog Team

Jamie Heywood Jamie Heywood
Paul Tarini Paul Tarini

RWJF has awarded PatientsLikeMe a $1.9 million grant to create the world’s first open-participation research platform to develop patient-centered health outcomes. The new platform will be linked with the PatientsLikeMe network to help researchers develop health outcome measures that better reflect patients’ experiences with a disease, and assess health and quality of life in ways that matter to patients.

Jamie Heywood, co-founder of PatientsLikeMe, and Paul Tarini, senior program officer of the Pioneer Team at RWJF, share their views on why creating an open-access platform to develop measures that matter to patients could advance meaningful treatments that improve health and advance research.

Why is this a pioneering project?  What makes it novel? 

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Doctor, I’m not comfortable with that order

Dec 5, 2012, 9:18 AM, Posted by Mike Painter

Michael Painter Michael Painter

A little more than 13 years ago, the Institute of Medicine (IOM) released its seminal report on patient safety, To Err is Human.  You can say that again. We humans sure do err.  It seems to be in our very nature.  We err individually and in groups—with or without technology.  We also do some incredible things together.  Like flying jets across continents and building vast networks of communication and learning—and like devising and delivering nothing- short-of-miraculous health care that can embrace the ill and fragile among us, cure them, and send them back to their loved ones.  Those same amazing, complex accomplishments, though, are at their core, human endeavors.  As such, they are inherently vulnerable to our errors and mistakes.  As we know, in high-stakes fields, like aviation and health care, those mistakes can compound into catastrophically horrible results.  The IOM report highlighted how the human error known in health care adds up to some mindboggling numbers of injured and dead patients—obviously a monstrous result that nobody intends.

The IOM safety report also didn’t just sound the alarm; it recommended a number of sensible things the nation should do to help manage human error. It included things like urging leaders to foster a national focus on patient safety, develop a public mandatory reporting system for medical errors, encourage complementary voluntary reporting systems, raise performance expectations and standards, and, importantly, promote a culture of safety in the health care workforce. 

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