Barrington, Illinois, October 11, 2011—GE Healthcare Performance Solutions, a unit of GE Healthcare (NYSE: GE), announced that Cook County Health & Hospitals System (CCHHS) has become the newest member of the GE Patient Safety Organization (GE PSO), in an effort to continue their increased emphasis on a culture of patient safety. Established earlier this year, the GE PSO is helping healthcare providers in their efforts to improve patient safety by collecting and analyzing event data, pinpointing causal factors contributing to risk and fostering collaboration within a community to mitigate those risks. The CCHHS joins the GE PSO alongside two community hospitals in the Chicagoland area, 13 Hospitals in Rhode Island, 10 of which are associated with the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, and Nix Hospital in San Antonio, Texas in an effort to pinpoint causal factors of patient safety risk and foster collaboration to mitigate those risks.
“This is a step in the right direction for patient safety, and we are proud to join an elite organization that puts the patients’ safety first,” said Dr. Terry Mason, Interim CEO, Cook County Health and Hospitals System. “The GE PSO offers us for the first time the ability to collect and compare data with other organizations, leveraging insights not just from our own hospitals but from similar intuitions across the country.”
The CCHHS cited three main reasons for joining the GE PSO:
(1) Patient Safety Culture: The complexity of healthcare today generates many opportunities for human error, and protecting patient safety requires an understanding of the many ways these errors can occur. Becoming a member of a PSO means emphasizing a patient safety culture across the organization. GE’s PSO will help the CCHHS and other hospitals support a work environment in which healthcare professionals are motivated to recognize, report, and reform unsafe care practices by developing organizational consensus about what constitutes a medical error and replacing an overly punitive approach to error management with a system of positive reinforcement for safe behaviors. The ultimate goal is that the system can learn from the errors and make improvements that enable safer delivery of care throughout the institution.
(2) Benchmarking: GE’s PSO has members from many regions, specialties, and types of facilities working together to improve quality. This collaborative environment offers the ability for members to communicate with one another, access education, and leverage the patient safety expertise of the PSO. Strength in numbers leads to insights that can improve safety for your patients.
(3) Proactive vs. Reactive: The GE PSO’s Medical Event Reporting System (MERS) enables hospitals to move from simply reporting adverse event to proactively addressing them. MERS is an invaluable tool for risk reduction and systematic quality improvement. This is essential to addressing the root causes of errors and never-events and making substantial, long lasting changes to the organization.
“Every healthcare provider is intimately aware that patient safety needs to be a priority,” said Kathy Martin, Managing Director, GE PSO. “However, it really takes an entire organization and their leadership to work together to successfully address its challenges. Cook County’s leadership understands the value of the medical event reporting technology and the culture change needed to sustain improvements long-term. Providing a tool that is close to the bedside for staff to “raise their hand” and speak-up about opportunities to improve patient safety, is an important step. Becoming a member of the GE PSO will enable the hospital or health system to leverage the community and data driven insights from across the entire PSO. We’re really looking forward to working with CCHHS and together driving improved results.”
CCHHS oversees a comprehensive, integrated system of healthcare throughout Chicago and suburban Cook County through its hospitals, ambulatory and community health network clinics, public health department, correctional healthcare facility, and outpatient infectious disease center, caring for more than 500,000 patients each year.
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services that are shaping a new age of patient care. Our broad expertise in medical imaging and information technologies, medical diagnostics, patient monitoring systems, drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies, performance improvement and performance solutions services help our customers to deliver better care to more people around the world at a lower cost. In addition, we partner with healthcare leaders, striving to leverage the global policy change necessary to implement a successful shift to sustainable healthcare systems.
Our “healthymagination” vision for the future invites the world to join us on our journey as we continuously develop innovations focused on reducing costs, increasing access and improving quality around the world. Headquartered in the United Kingdom, GE Healthcare is a unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE). Worldwide, GE Healthcare employees are committed to serving healthcare professionals and their patients in more than 100 countries. For more information about GE Healthcare, visit our website at www.gehealthcare.com.
About The Cook County Hospital & Health System
CCHHS (formerly known as the Cook County Bureau of Health Services) oversees a comprehensive, integrated system of healthcare throughout Chicago and suburban Cook County through its hospitals, ambulatory and community health network clinics, public health department, correctional healthcare facility, and outpatient infectious disease center.
The CCHHS is comprised of: John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital, Provident Hospital, Oak Forest Hospital, Cook County Department of Public Health, Cermak Health Services, the Ruth Rothstein CORE Center and the 16 Ambulatory and Community Health Network (ACHN) health centers.