Patient Safety Information and Tools
The Institute of Medicine report, To Err is Human (2000), focused national attention on patient safety. Although experts disagree on the number of medical errors that occur each year, everyone agrees that patient safety is an important issue that deserves attention. The North American Spine Society is committed to quality patient care through the promotion of patient safety and the prevention of medical errors.
Medical Error Reporting
NASS believes nonpunitive, confidential reporting is an important preventive measure. Found in other industries with established safety systems (most notably aviation), the goal of nonpunitive, confidential reporting is to identify errors, including near misses, for the purpose of correction and prevention - not punishment or liability.
NASS has developed the following prevention tools and resources to enhance patient safety, including:
- Spine Safety Alerts
- Prevention of Wrong-Site Surgery: Sign, Mark & X-ray (SMaX) Patient Take-Home Sheets and Safety Checklist
- NASS Endorses Universal Protocol for Preventing Wrong Site, Wrong Procedure, Wrong Person Surgery
- Herbal Supplements: "Natural" Doesn't Always Mean Safe.
- Patient Safety 101. This PowerPoint presentation with speaker's notes, references, and handouts is useful in teaching the basic tenets of patient safety.
- Clinical Guidelines for Multidisciplinary Spine Care Providers
- Patient Education Brochure: Patient Safety: Tips to Help You Safeguard Your Health
- Patient Education Brochure: Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)
- Wong, DA. Patient Safety: The "Report," The Issues, The NASS Approach. SpineLine. 2001. 2(3):7-12.
- Wong, DA. Patient Safety: A Systems Approach to Patient Safety. SpineLine. 2002. 3(3):20-21.
- Wong, DA. Patient Safety: Everyone Has a Responsibility for Patient Safety, Part I: The Patient's Role. SpineLine. 2002. 3(4):21-22.
- Wong, DA. Patient Safety: Everyone Has a Responsibility for Patient Safety, Part II: The Provider's Role. SpineLine. 2002. 3(5):7-12.
- Wong, DA. Patient Safety: Everyone Has a Responsibility for Patient Safety, Part III: The Institution's Role. SpineLine. 2002. 3(6):20-21.
- Wong, DA. Patient Safety: Natural Doesn't Equal Safe: Spine Care Provider's Guide to Herbal Supplements. SpineLine. 2003. 4(1):16-20.
- Wong, DA. Patient Safety: Specialty Coalitions: Another Route to Patient Safety. SpineLine. 2003 4(2):20.
- Watters, WC. Patient Safety: SMAX: Early Data and Practical Applications. SpineLine. 2003 4(3):18-20.
- Wong, DA; Herring, SA. Patient Safety: The Role of Human Error in Medical Errors. SpineLine. 2003 4(4):27-29.
- Wong, DA; Herring, SA. Patient Safety: Protecting Patients and Preventing Medical Errors. SpineLine. 2003 4(5):24-26.
Other Resources and Tools