Crucial Mission

First Meeting of IDSA Patient Safety Task Force on Eve of #IDSAMedical 2016

One day before the IDSA Medical Design Conference 2016 in San Francisco—a new, key IDSA committee aimed at reducing medical errors and improving patient safety will meet for the first time. "The IDSA Patient Safety Task Force proposes to capitalize on the strategic problem solving, creative system design, UX and visual communication skills of industrial designers to conceptualize and then enable solutions to relieve the medical error crisis," says Sean Hägen, IDSA, who chairs the task force and IDSA's Medical Special Interest Section, and serves as Sections VP on IDSA's Board of Directors.

The initial idea for the committee was sparked in February 2016, when Richard Griffith, MD, contacted former IDSA President Eric Anderson, FIDSA, regarding the “medical error crisis” in the United States. Dr. Griffith said he hoped to engage members of IDSA in the broad-based, long-term mission to solve the crisis.

Anderson set in motion, discussions among interested parties within IDSA and its Board that led to the formation of the task force. Committee members will research foundational policies, behaviors and conditions that clearly demonstrate patient safety problems are solvable and recommend successful courses of action to achieve a measurably safer healthcare system for all patients, says Hägen, who also chaired the first IDSA Medical Design Conference in 2014.

In May 2016, IDSA’s Board of Directors approved the formation of the Patient Safety Task Force with Hägen inviting members. The task force includes:

  • Chair: Sean Hägen, IDSA, Principal, Director of Research & Synthesis, BlackHägen Design
  • Academia Liaison: Mary Beth Privitera, PhD, FIDSA, Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering, University of Cincinnati; AAMI HE Committee Chair; IDSA Medical Design Conference 2015 Chair
  • Patient Advocacy Liaison: John James, PhD; NASA Chief Toxicologist (retired); CEO, Patient Safety America
  • Clinical Liaison: Richard Griffith, MD, Associate Professor, Anesthesiology (retired), Albany Medical Center; Former World-Wide Hypodermic Medical Director, Becton Dickinson
  • Hospital Liaison: Paul Murphy, MD, Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology, Director, Anesthesiology Quality Improvement, Department of Anesthesiology, Virginia Commonwealth University Health System
  • Industry Liaison: Bob Schwartz, FIDSA, DMI, General Manager, Global Design & User Experience, GE Healthcare
  • Government Liaison: Charles Austen Angell, FIDSA, former IDSA Board Chair; CEO, Modern Edge
  • Human Factors Liaison: Michael Wiklund, PhD, General Manager, Human Factors Engineering Practice, Underwriters Laboratories
  • Insurance Liaison: Ryan Shafer, Human-Centered Design Director, UnitedHealth Group

Per its vision statement, the IDSA Patient Safety Task Force initiative will enable collaboration with the healthcare community to implement significant, positive impacts on patient safety outcomes with the ultimate goal of reducing iatrogenic adverse events 33 percent in five years.

Per its mission statement, the IDSA Patient Safety Task Force will design a multi-faceted strategic plan to enable healthcare service providers to minimize medical error, or preventable iatrogenic adverse events, in the United States—ultimately impacting global healthcare. The task force will propose to the IDSA Board, a strategy that leverages industrial design methods for systems design and visualizes how strategic initiatives will impact the healthcare industry once implemented.

Hägen, Griffith, Privitera, Schwartz and Wiklund are set to speak at the IDSA Medical Design Conference 2016. See the complete schedule and register now.