Consumer Involvement May Improve Patient Safety During Hospitalization

Development of a consumer-provider education program to improve patient safety during hospitalization

From 1998 to 1999, researchers from 21st Century Consumer conducted developmental research to be used in the creation of educational programs to help reduce the number of injuries and deaths due to preventable errors during hospitalization.

The research consisted of a literature review on patient safety and quality of medical care, along with interviews with experts in these areas.

21st Century Consumer, based in Alamo, Calif., is a nonprofit working to advance health and quality of life through research and consumer engagement.

Key Findings

  • As many as 18 percent of hospitalized patients are affected by health care errors.
  • Some 11 of the 23 patients and family members interviewed witnessed medical errors.
  • Patients and family members who challenged a potential error said it took considerable assertiveness to address the problem.
  • Most patients and family members interviewed thought active involvement and better education could help improve patient safety and outcomes.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) supported this project through a grant of $45,617.