Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Landscape of Patient Safety Activities in Maine


The purpose of this report is to provide the Maine Quality Forum and the Dirigo Health Agency with baseline information that identifies the scope and depth of current patient safety initiatives in Maine.
The landscape review of patient safety activities in Maine includes data collected through three different lenses. First, the team completed an environmental scan of patient safety activities in other states and explored the various configurations of formal organizational patient safety activities. Second, a convenience sample online survey was conducted with Maine healthcare stakeholders to gather specific information about activities and needs for additional efforts. Finally, follow-up interviews were conducted with key informants to gain a deeper understanding of the Maine landscape of patient safety activity.

Key Findings:

  • The environmental scan suggests that state agencies and the Maine healthcare community are very active in addressing certain patient safety topics. Other states offer a more comprehensive approach, notably partnerships that bring broad based financial and human resource support to population-based improvement strategies. Maine currently does not have an organization with Patient Safety Organization (PSO) federal designation other than one private firm which contracts with anesthesiology practices around the country.
  • Survey results indicated extremely strong interest in basic education and training in patient safety both for current healthcare professionals and those individuals in the higher education pipeline. Patient safety is a recent discipline and there is in fact, some catching up to do. These results were confirmed by the key informant interviews. Many respondents believe that there is strong value in state-wide educational efforts and see a role for state leadership to drive this endeavor.
  • The importance of sharing data to learn from errors and near misses was a recurring theme and may require  the impartiality of a state-supported or PSO group to achieve wide-spread and transparent usefulness.
  • There was an overwhelming expression of interest and need for infection control and prevention education and improvement work within Maine.

Suggested Citation:

Tupper J, Gray C. Landscape of Patient Safety Activities in Maine. Portland, ME: University of Southern Maine, Muskie School of Public Service; February, 2012.

Publication Type: 
Publish Date: 
February 28, 2012