DNV GL Healthcare Worked Closely with IHI to Develop Just-Released National Safety Plan

Patrick Horine Played Important Role on Steering Committee

DNV GL Healthcare, the nation’s fastest-growing hospital accrediting organization, played a critical role in the development of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) “Safer Together: A National Action Plan to Advance Patient Safety” released to the public 9/14/2020.

Patrick Horine served on a national steering committee convened by the IHI to draft and develop the report, which took place over the past year. The committee included renowned healthcare and safety experts from around the nation. They represented organizations that included the Veterans Health Administration (VA), HIMSS, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), among others.

“It was an extraordinary and solemn honor to be involved in this absolutely critical work,” Horine said. “Nearly a quarter century has passed since the landmark ‘To Err is Human’ report was issued by the National Institute of Medicine, which chronicled the tens of thousands of Americans who die every year due to medical errors. While some progress has been made to reduce this number, it requires the concerted efforts of renowned organizations such as the IHI to continue to raise the bar and ensure every patient will be safe while undergoing surgeries or other medical treatments.”

The National Action Plan focuses on four areas considered crucial to promoting patient safety in healthcare settings:

  • Culture, leadership and governance: All healthcare policymakers should adopt a deeply held commitment to developing cultures of safety.
  • Patient and family engagement: Systems of safety within healthcare should include input from patients and their family members
  • Workforce safety: Patient safety cannot be guaranteed until the nation’s healthcare workforce adopts core tenets of safety in their work.
  • The creation of continuous learning systems across healthcare organizations all levels to encourage widespread sharing, learning, and improvement.

DNV GL Healthcare supports the National Action Plan and is encouraging all hospitals to continue current initiatives that coincide with this plan or to develop initiatives to engage management, staff and patients in order to demonstrate their commitment and adoption of practices reflected in the plan for their respective organizations. DNV GL will be releasing additional information to follow in how it will incorporate this in its process, without being prescriptive but encompassing these guidelines as part of the quality management system for advancing patient safety.   

Based on the ISO 9001 quality management system, DNV GL’s accreditation process for hospitals focuses on continuous quality improvement. DNV GL accreditation surveys also occur annually as opposed to every three years, keeping hospital management vigilant for ways to improve their operations. Moreover, the DNV GL approach toward corrective actions is open-ended rather than proscriptive, allowing hospitals to pursue a path toward accreditation that meshes with their own values and culture.

A recent report by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services concluded that DNV GL’s surveys were significantly more likely to satisfy the safety standards of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services than any other hospital accrediting organization in the nation.

Hundreds of hospitals across the United States have switched to DNV GL Healthcare over the past decade, making it the nation’s fastest-growing accrediting body. The organization accredits more than 600 hospitals in all 50 states.

“We want to identify innovative practices and approaches to address aspects that improve quality, efficiency and enhance patient care,” said Gary Davis, DNV GL Business Assurance Americas Regional Manager. “Our success is attributable to the unique approach we take with our hospital customers to use the quality management system to their advantage.”