Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy

Population Health and Health Policy

Prioritizing Patient Safety Interventions in Small and Rural Hospitals

Abstract: 

Background: A study was conducted in 2004 to determine if 26 interventions?distributed among nine patient safety areas and as recommended by an expert panel as relevant to rural hospitals?would be validated in terms of relevance and implementability for small and rural facilities.
Methods: The chief executive officers (CEOs) and/or key managers responsible for patient safety activities in a diverse group of 29 small and rural hospitals assessed the potential effectiveness and feasibility of the 26 interventions. Representatives of 25 hospitals participated in structured, follow-up phone discussions.
Results: Adverse drug events were the highest-priority area for 14 hospitals, followed by patient falls (selected by 5 hospitals). Some hospitals had already implemented intervention 1 (use at least two patient identifiers) and intervention 6 (read back of verbal orders) and thus ranked them highly, especially for implementability. Intervention 3 (24-hour pharmacist coverage) was ranked low, especially on implementability. Interventions involving health information technology were ranked lower by the hospitals than by the expert panel.
Discussion: Safety interventions should reflect the general state of the science of safe practices while incorporating relevant contextual issues unique to rural hospitals. The results have important implications for survey and accreditation activity, and the focus of technical assistance and research efforts.

Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Publish Date: 
December 1, 2006

Cutler Institute awarded $600,000 to help youth raised in foster system

Marty Zanghi

USM's Cutler Institute for Health and Social Policy has been awarded a $600,000 grant to help young people raised in Maine's foster system to prepare for college and the workforce.

The money comes from the Annie E. Casey Foundation as part of a $5.4 million national effort aimed at youth who are homeless or in either the foster care or juvenile justice systems.

"Many of these young people have suffered abuse or trauma and were raised in poverty and neglect," said Marty Zanghi, the Cutler Center's youth development director.

The money -- including an expected $400,000 more in matching funds -- will pay for contracted work with agencies in the target areas, starting with the greater Portland area and Penobscot, Kennebec and Somerset counties.

Nationally and in Maine, only about 3 percent of people who grow up in the foster care system achieve a college degree, he said.

"It's dramatically lower than the rate for the general population," Zanghi said. "It's a horrible outcome."

It doesn't have to be that way, though.

"There are young people that overcome these circumstances," he said. "I know people who have master's degrees and Ph.Ds."

The Casey Foundation's national effort is being called the "Learn and Earn to Achieve Potential" (LEAP) initiative.

The initiative is working on partnerships in Maine and nine other areas: Alaska, Arizona, California, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and New York. In each case, people will adapt two evidence-based models to meet the needs of these youth, including support to address the trauma they may have experienced in their lives.

In Maine, the work will include a pair of successful programs, Jobs for Maine Graduates (JMG) and Jobs for the Future. Results will be carefully tracked, Zanghi said.

After the first year, the program is expected to grow.

"Eventually, the additional help will be available to all children, 14 and over, in the foster care system in the state of Maine," Zanghi said.

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