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Patient Safety Information for Patients and Families

To promote patient safety statewide, the Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors, in cooperation with the Massachusetts Medical Society and with support from the Commonwealth’s Betsy Lehman Center, has created a patient medication list (the Med List) that patients and their families can carry to medical visits. Patients should be aware of the information on the List and share it with physicians or healthcare providers so they are informed about the patient’s medications. 

Click here for more information and to download a free Med List.

Medically Induced Trauma Support Services
P.O. Box 343
Mansfield, MA 02048
Phone: 508-337-2900
Toll-Free: 888-36-MITSS
Email: info@medicaltrauma.org
Description: MITSS, Inc. is a non-profit organization that supports, educates, trains, and offers assistance to individuals affected by medically induced trauma. Medically induced trauma is an unexpected complication due to a medical/surgical procedure, medical/systems error affecting the overall well being of an individual and/or family member. The purpose of this organization is to promote communication and to provide support services to all individuals who have been affected by a medically induced trauma. Unlimited support is provided up to 2 years post trauma. The aim of the organization is to promote healing and to restore hope to these individuals and their families and to engage in other activities that support or benefit the needs of people affected by this type of trauma.

PO Box 273, Warren, ME. 04864
Phone: 207-273-4915
Email: voice4patients@aol.com
Agency site: http://www.voice4patients.com/
Description: The site offers informative on-line resources for the victims of medical error, surviving family members and patient advocates. Resources are included to enable consumers to become active partners in their own health care; thus reducing the chance of experiencing an error. Resources include information on legislation, patient safety reports, patient stories, resources for healing following an error, patient safety events and disease-specific information.

National Patient Safety Foundation®
8405 Greensboro Dr, Ste 800
McLean, Virginia 22102-5120
Phone: 703/506-3280 / Fax: 703/506-3266
E-mail: info@npsf.org 
Agency Site: www.npsf.org
Description: This site is focused on providing indispensable resources for individuals and organizations committed to improving the safety of patients.

P.U.L.S.E. (Persons United Limiting Substandards and Errors in Healthcare)
Phone: 516-579-4711
Email (East Coast): pulse516@aol.com
Email (Midwest): pulsecolo@hotmail.com
Agency Site: www.pulseamerica.org
Description: This site offers information on the national (and local chapters of) PULSE, a consumer-focused organization geared towards education and support. Resources include a chat room, personal stories, related links for patients’ rights, some state-specific resources, as well as physician profiles.

Other available resources:

National Agenda for Action
Patients and Families in Patient Safety: Nothing about Me, Without Me
Call to action for healthcare organizations at all levels to involve patients and families in systems and patients safety problems. Four areas of involvement include: education and raising awareness, building the culture, suggested areas of research and developing support services to mitigate the effects of a harmful error.
View Online (Requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)
Leapfrog Group provides hospital survey information to show their progress toward implementing the Leapfrog-recommended quality and safety practices.  The practices can be found at http://www.leapfroggroup.org/.

Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations’ Quality Check service offers patients and families the opportunity to look up individual hospital quality results via compliance with the Joint Commission's National Patient Safety Goals, as applicable to the organization, and performance on National Quality Improvement Goals (hospitals only). National Quality Improvement Goals allow hospitals to report on the key indicators of quality of care in up to four treatment areas: heart attack, heart failure, community acquired pneumonia and pregnancy and related conditions.  To access the Quality Check service, go to http://www.jcaho.org.
Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC)
Consumer Fact Sheet: You Can Help Improve Patient Safety
NPSF Statement of Principle
NPSF Fact Sheet

Brochures & Fact Sheets

Coalition's Consumer Brochure

Online Version
Consumer Guide

The Massachusetts Coalition for the Prevention of Medical Errors has developed a consumer guide that encourages patients to become "part of the health care team" along with their physicians, nurses, and pharmacists, to prevent medication mistakes. The guide was developed in conjunction with the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Family-Centered Care and is based on input solicited from patients, families, and health care professionals. The brochure is also available in Spanish.

For more information, contact:
MA Coalition
Phone:  781-272-8000 ext.221
Email:  macoalition@macoalition.org

Click here to download the brochure order form

Healthcare Links
Please note: Web sites and links are changing every day - we cannot guarantee that each of the links below will remain active.

Joint Commission for the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations

Speak Up Initiative and Brochures:

Health Care Quality and Safety

20 Tips to Help Prevent Medical Errors in Children - AHRQ

Be Involved in Your Health Care - VIPC&S.  Includes tip sheets on:
Medicines: www.vipcs.org/patients/medicine.htm
Hospital Stays: www.vipcs.org/patients/hospitals.htm
Surgery: www.vipcs.org/patients/surgery.htm
Home Health Equipment: www.vipcs.org/patients/homehealth.htm
General Safety: www.vipcs.org/patients/end.htm

Elements of a Culture of Safety (.pdf file) - HAP
www.haponline.org/downloads/1_Elements of a Culture of Safety.pdf

Getting the Most out of a Visit with Your Doctor - AAOS http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/fact/thr_report.cfm?Thread_ID=350&topcategory=

Improving Health Care Quality: A Guide for Patients and Families - AHRQ

Medical Errors - The Scope of the Problem - AHRQ

Partners in Quality Series (.pdf file) - HAP

Taking an Active Role in Your Health Care

Patients have Important Role in Safer Health Care - AAOS http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/fact/thr_report.cfm?Thread_ID=363&topcategory=Patient%20Safety

Preventing Infections in the Hospital – What you as a patient can do (.pdf file) - NPSF

Role of the Patient Advocate (.pdf file) - NPSF

Safety as You Go from Hospital to Home (.pdf file) - NPSF

You Can Help Improve Patient Safety (.pdf file) - NPSF

Medication Safety

Avoiding Medication Errors and Tips on Medication Safety - APh

Keeping Secrets From Your Doctor and Pharmacist Can Harm Your Health - CHIC

Medications and You - ASHP

Pharmacy Safety and Service - What You Should Expect (.pdf file) - NPSF

Taking Control of Your Medicines - CHIC

Think It Through: A Guide to Managing the Benefits and Risks of Medicine (.pdf file) - NPSF/PSMU

Your Medication: Play It Safe - AHRQ

Your Role in Safe Medication Use (.pdf file) – MA Coalition – see brochure above

Examining Medical Information on the Web

Buying Medicines and Medical Products Online - FDA

Electronic Prescriptions [and Internet Pharmacies] - CHIC

How to Shop Safely On-Line (.pdf file) - NCL

Surgical Safety

Anesthesia for Ambulatory Surgery - ASA

Advice for Patients Concerned about On-site Surgery (.pdf file)- AORN

What You Need to Know about Anesthesia (.pdf file) - AORN

What You Need to Know about Your Surgery (.pdf file)- AORN

When Your Child Needs Anesthesia - ASA

Cancer Treatment Safety

How You Can Help Ensure Your Safety When Receiving Cancer Treatments - ISMP

FDA's Tips for Taking Medicines - FDA

Food & Drug Interactions (PDF File)- NCL

Guide to Educating Children About Medicines -APHA

Preventing Medicine Mishaps - CHIC

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