Nearly 500 attendees have registered for the Seventh Annual Virginia Patient Safety Summit. This year’s event features an array of exceptional health care leaders and advocates. Scheduled speakers include patient voice advocate Leilani Schweitzer; Dr. Don Goldmann of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and professor at Harvard Business School; Jamie Bonini, Vice President of Toyota Production System Support Center; Dr. Zeynep Ton, Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management; Dr. John Banja of the Center for Ethics at Emory University; and Dr. Bryan Sexton of the Duke University Health System Patient Safety Center. Virginia’s new Secretary of Health and Human Resources, Dr. Daniel Carey, also delivered remarks at the outset of the 2018 Patient Safety Summit.
Many other noteworthy speakers and accomplished medical professionals are scheduled to lead breakout sessions during the Summit, an event jointly sponsored by the Virginia Hospital Research & Education Foundation (VHREF) and the Virginia Hospital & Healthcare Association’s (VHHA) Center for Healthcare Excellence.
The theme of this year’s Patient Safety Summit is “Empowering the Line, Engaging the Team: Creating a Playbook for Comprehensive Patient Safety.” Its focus is on strategies hospitals and health systems can implement that encourage all employees to be health care quality and patient safety champions. The emphasis on front line hospital employees is intentional and demonstrates the commitment hospital leaders have to bring clinicians, administrators, and front line staff along on the quality and safety improvement journey. The Patient Safety Summit traces its roots to 2011 when VHHA pursued legislation to recognize “Virginia Patient Safety Day” to raise awareness of voluntary quality and safety initiatives implemented by Virginia hospitals.
That year, the Virginia General Assembly passed a resolution recognizing February 2 as “Virginia Patient Safety Day,” and as an opportunity to acknowledge the 100,000-plus health care workers in Virginia’s hospitals and health systems, and their accomplishments in improving health care quality and delivering positive patient outcomes. Since then, VHHA has been a proud organizational sponsor of the Patient Safety Summit as an annual gathering of health care leaders and professionals from across the Commonwealth. The Summit represents an opportunity to showcase the important work performed by health care providers to enhance patient outcomes. As it coincides with the annual General Assembly session in Richmond, the Summit also gives health care stakeholders in town for the event a chance to visit their district legislators and encourage them to support common sense health care policy proposals.
Virginia’s community hospitals provide essential health services to people across the Commonwealth, and also serve as economic pillars that directly support more than 125,000 jobs while contributing billions to the state economy. In addition to hospitals’ public health contributions, VHHA and its members are committed to making Virginia the healthiest state in the nation. And while the quality and safety improvement journey is ongoing, the Commonwealth has recently made some encouraging health care quality strides. For example, Virginia has been rated a top 10 state in an assessment of health care quality based on the latest annual National Healthcare Quality and Disparities Report (QDR) released by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ). The Commonwealth’s overall ninth place ranking reflects substantial improvement from Virginia’s previous middle-of-the-pack status among states. Another positive development is Virginia achieving the lowest early elective delivery rate in the nation.
In 2017, dozens of Virginia hospitals earned top marks for exceptional patient safety performance. In all, 41 Virginia hospitals received “A” grades in the Fall 2017 Hospital Safety Grade scores from the Leapfrog Group, a national health care patient safety ranking organization. That announcement came months after the Spring 2017 Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade scores showed 35 Virginia hospitals had earned “A” grades. The Fall 2017 Leapfrog results place Virginia among the top five states with the highest percentage of “A” grade hospitals.
The Seventh Annual Virginia Patient Safety Summit is made possible by the generosity of several key partners and sponsors. Sincere gratitude is extended to VHREF‘s 2017-2018 Corporate Partners, including VHHA Shared Services, InSight Telepsychiatry, Novo Nordisk, and U.S. Acute Care Solutions. Gold member sponsors include Inova Health System, Sentara Healthcare, and VCU Health System; silver member sponsors include Bon Secours, Children’s National Health System, and Riverside Health System; bronze member sponsors include Augusta Health, Centra Health, Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters, Medical Society of Virginia (MSV), UVA Health System, and Wellmont Health System. The 2018 Summit sponsors include the Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences, the VCU School of Allied Health Professions, Health Quality Innovators, and Lumeris.