Patient Safety and Outcomes

At some point in every life, often in the most critical and chaotic times, we must place our lives and our trust in the hands of professionals whose responsibility it is to give us the best health care possible.  The School of Nursing and Health Studies views Patient Safety and Patient Outcomes as a main area of intersection between clinical practice and research, as many of our outstanding nursing faculty remain active and dedicated caregivers in clinical patient settings.

When we talk about patient safety, we’re really talking about how hospitals and other health care organizations protect their patients from errors, injuries, accidents, and infections.  Medical error is believed to be the third leading cause of death in the United States; therefore, considerable attention has been placed on the relationship between patient safety culture and patient outcomes.  While hospital mortality is the most frequently used outcome in clinical practice, increasingly the quality of life after discharge is the truer measure of a successful outcome for patients, families, health workers, policy makers and all of society.  Clinical Outcomes are the most important measure of critical care activity.  When health care providers have access to complete and accurate information, patients receive better medical care and see more positive outcomes.

The School of Nursing and Health Studies provides a powerful and versatile setting to address the multifaceted quest to protect patients from such avoidable harm and to improve outcomes in virtually every aspect of health care through research, education, and community leadership.  Optimizing the effectiveness of tactics that foster team cohesion and communication is a key goal of immersive inter-professional simulation-based safety courses for nursing, public health, and pharmacy students.  Results and evaluations of these experiences guide the development of future coursework and training.  Additionally, SONHS is forging partnerships with hospitals, health insurers, and partner institutions to advance these efforts in both curriculum development and clinical practice.