Statewide Patient Safety Benchmarking Programs Reach New Milestones

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Clarity Group, Inc. provides the web-based patient safety management tool, the Healthcare SafetyZone® Portal that supports statewide efforts to enhance patient safety

This project is a direct response to the needs expressed by the North Dakota CAHs for a way to increase communication among them and to decrease data collection redundancy...

Clarity Group, Inc. a leading provider of healthcare risk, quality and patient safety software and consulting services, is pleased to announce that two State Reporting Benchmarking programs, one in North Dakota and one in Wisconsin, have each reached individual milestones and have begun a new year of continued focus on patient safety management in their respective states using the Healthcare SafetyZone® Portal, Clarity Group’s web-based patient safety event management tool. Clarity Group, Inc. has been honored to work with two such organizations that truly value patient safety.

In September of 2008, 13 Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) in North Dakota through the University of North Dakota Center for Rural Health began using the Healthcare SafetyZone® Portal in a pilot program. After a 6 month pilot period, the program moved forward with 10 CAHs in April 2009. Marlene Miller, Program Director for the Center for Rural Health stated, “This project is a direct response to the needs expressed by the North Dakota CAHs for a way to increase communication among them and to decrease data collection redundancy. We are pleased to be working with the North Dakota CAH Quality Network and Clarity Group on this program.” The group is beginning its 3rd year in the program and three new CAHs have joined since it began in 2008. From 2008 to the present, the members of the CAH Quality Network in North Dakota have seen an increase in reporting to surface more issues that could impact safety. They have submitted more than 13,000 events for analysis and have created multiple interventions to enhance patient safety in the small and rural healthcare setting.

In April of 2010, six Critical Access Hospitals came together through the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative to begin a statewide reporting effort to improve patient safety in small and rural hospital settings in Wisconsin. “A group of RWHC hospitals chose Clarity’s Healthcare SafetyZone® Portal for their collaborative project because its design, flexibility and cost met the needs of smaller hospitals. The customer service and technical support has exceeded our expectations. The user-friendly templates have resulted in increased event reporting over our old paper systems. We are anticipating measurable improvement in patient safety!” states Beth Dibbert, RWHC Quality Consultant. This collaborative group reached its one year milestone in April of 2011. In the past year, the group has added four new members and now includes 10 hospitals. They have also reported more than 5,000 events and have gone completely paperless during this time.

About the North Dakota CAH Quality Network
The North Dakota CAH Quality Network was formed for the purpose of sharing best practices, education and resources to help advance healthcare quality and safety in North Dakota. The Center for Rural Health (University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences) supports the Critical Access Hospital Quality Network through funding, facilitation of meetings and opportunities to accomplish its goals.

About the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative
RWHC is owned and operated by thirty-five rural acute, general medical-surgical hospitals; the Cooperative's emphasis on developing key strategies among freestanding entities distinguishes it from alternative approaches. RWHC is the rural advocate of choice for its members, developing and managing a variety of services, and assists members by offering high-quality, cost effective healthcare. The RWHC assists members in partnering with others to make their communities healthier, and it actively uses strategic alliances in pursuit of its vision.

About Clarity Group, Inc.
Clarity Group, Inc. is a specialist in innovative integrated risk/quality/safety/service systems and consulting products that enable healthcare organizations to execute on their vision for excellence. Core Clarity products include captive insurance company development and operations, risk-quality-safety consulting services and the web-based Healthcare SafetyZone® Portal that engages all staff in collaborative, data driven change to transform the organization into a Healthcare Safety Zone for patients, visitors and staff. Clarity PSO, a Division of Clarity Group, Inc. is a federally listed Patient Safety Organization with the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality in Washington, DC.

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Nick Hajek
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