Crucial Mission

IDSA Patient Safety Task Force Update

The IDSA Patient Safety Task Force is entering its second year with some advances to report.

The Task Force, which is tackling the US medical error crisis, is chaired by Sean Hägen, IDSA, who also serves as Sections Director on IDSA’s Board of Directors. (A webinar providing an update on the task force is available to IDSA members). The task force is designing a strategic plan to enable healthcare service providers to minimize medical errors. ultimately impacting global healthcare. The task force will propose to the IDSA Board a strategy that leverages ID methods for systems design and visualizes how strategic initiatives will impact the healthcare industry once implemented.

"We don’t have to boil the ocean,” he says. “The enormity of the problem is the problem.” He says IDSA’s role is to enable change in the greater design community with the awareness, opportunity and tools to make a significant impact on the problem:

  • Illuminate the contextual challenges of the hospital;
  • Develop IDSA reference materials;
  • Create and maintain a hospital ecosystem map;
  • Provide the design community with the opportunity to demonstrate potential solutions;
  • Hold stakeholder summits and workshops;
  • Grant collaborations.

Hägen says the task force is collaborating with the FDA, Joint Commission and CQuIPS.

The task force met for the first time a day before the IDSA Medical Design Conference 2016 in San Francisco. The initial idea for the committee was developed 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 are researching  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.

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 task force 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.