Convention Press Release

RANCHO MIRAGE, CA, March 10, 1998 — The American Association for the Advancement of Science, the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences, the National Patient Safety Foundation, the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs are convening a multidisciplinary conference on Enhancing Safety/Reducing Errors in Health Care.

The conference will build on the highly successful meeting convened in October 1996 at the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences that examined the errors that can occur in health care from a variety of professional and theoretical perspectives. Focusing on a problem of keen interest to society, the conference will be open to individuals from a variety of professions, institutions, and organizations. Participants at the meeting will be introduced to leading research that identifies sources of preventable negative patient outcomes and strategies to institute improvements. The meeting will generate further research in patient safety and in error reduction, with the ultimate goal of higher quality health care.

The conference will be held at the Annenberg Center for Health Sciences, Rancho Mirage, California, November 8-10, 1998.

Examples of issues that will be explored at the conference in plenary and breakout sessions include:

Measuring Patient Outcomes
Assessing Safety
Diagnosing Errors
How can we assess the relative effects of preventable adverse events to undesirable patient outcomes?

What is the anatomy of errors and how do we differentiate between errors and other preventable events?

Do the type and incidence of error differ, and if so in what ways, in the context of acute versus chronic illness?

What are the demographics of errors?

What can we learn from the study of case histories?

What methodologies are available to measure errors?

Are there indicators for error?

Factors Contributing to Patient Safety and to Errors.

Does the economic structure or legal environment in which health care is delivered bear any relationship to patient safety?

What is the role of advanced technologies – are they part of the solution or part of the problem?

What are the communication issues in the understanding of safety and errors?

What contribution can root cause analysis make in understanding safety?

What can be learned from event-driven outcome analyses?

Strategies for Enhancing Safety and Reducing Errors.

What human factors, risk management, and other strategies can be used to improve patient safety?

What is the experience to date in institutions that have implemented various strategies?

Can non-punitive reporting and response practices be a factor in enhancing safety and preventing errors?

Outcomes from the conference will include printed proceedings, an executive summary video, video and audio tapes of plenary sessions.

Conference registration information is available by contacting Helen Cox at 800-321-3690 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time.