Patient Safety & Quality Improvement in Health Care

Write a 5-7 page recommendation to senior leadership about steps the organization needs to take to resolve a patient safety issue that occurred. Include an explanation of why it is important to address the issue and the role the patient safety officer will play in helping to resolve the issue.

Alarming numbers of unnecessary patient deaths occur in U.S. hospitals and around the world. “Quality and patient safety in health care have been on the forefront of the public’s mind since the publication of the Institute of Medicine’s (IOM) seminal report, ‘To Err Is Human,’ in 1999” (Johnson, Haskell, & Barach, 2016, pg. xv). The literature supports revising systems and processes in an effort to narrow the difficult safety and quality gaps. Worldwide, issues of patient safety and patient-centered quality care drive health care reform. Current approaches are not adequate; patients remain at risk for needless harm.

Demonstrating a firm understanding of the various components of patient safety is fundamental to understanding health care quality, risk management, and patient safety overall.

For this first assessment, you will assume the role of a patient safety officer at your local hospital. You will analyze a patient safety issue that occurred and then prepare a five- to seven-page recommendation for senior leaders about why it is important to address the issue, along with your recommendations about how to address it. You will also need to detail the role you as the patient safety officer will play in helping the organization resolve the issue.


Johnson, J. K., Haskell, H. W., & Barach, P. R. (2016). Case studies in patient safety. Burlington, MA: Jones & Bartlett Learning.


By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the course competencies through the following assessment scoring guide criteria:

  • Competency 1: Analyze the quality and performance improvement activities within the health care organization.
    • Recommend evidence-based best practice tools and techniques to reduce or eliminate patient safety threats.
  • Competency 3: Analyze the importance of patient safety in health care.
    • Apply the health care safety imperative to a patient safety issue.
    • Evaluate the risk to patients, employees, and the organization if patient safety threats are not addressed.
    • Analyze regulatory agencies’ role and impact on organizations’ patient safety programs.
  • Competency 4: Apply leadership strategies to quality improvement in a health care organization.
    • Analyze the patient safety officer’s role in implementing patient safety plans.
  • Competency 5: Communicate in a manner that is scholarly, professional, and respectful of the diversity, dignity, and integrity of others and is consistent with health care professionals.
    • Write a clear, persuasive, organized recommendation plan that is generally free of errors and is reflective of professional communication in the health care field.
    • Provide citations and title and reference pages that conform to APA style and format.


To help prepare for successfully completing this assessment:

  • Select one of the three scenarios from the Vila Health: Patient Safety simulation activity that interests you the most for further analysis in your assessment:
    • Scenario 1: Patient Identification Error.
    •  2: Medication Error.
    • 3: HIPAA/Privacy Violation.


For the scenario you selected, write a five- to seven-page recommendation for leadership that describes the safety threat, the importance of addressing the threat, and your recommendations for resolving it. Be sure to include all of these headings in your paper and to address all of the bullets underneath each heading:

  • Potential threat to patient safety:
    • Identify the issue you selected from the simulation activity as the potential safety threat.
    • Describe the issue that occurred with sufficient detail so that leadership has a clear understanding of what happened.
  • Implications of not addressing threat:
    • Evaluate the risk to the organization if this issue is not addressed. In your evaluation, be sure to address all of the following:
      • What does the health care safety imperative say about the issue?
      • How does the health care safety imperative apply in this case?
      • Which regulatory agency(ies) have oversight about the issue?
      • What specifically do the regulation(s) state about the issue? For example, you might consider the Joint Commission’s national patient safety goals.
      • What impact do regulatory agencies have on organizations’ patient safety programs?
      • How do health care organizations incorporate regulatory agencies’ guidance when establishing reporting and investigation best practices?
      • If the hospital fails to correct the threat, what are the potential consequences to patients, employees, and to the organization?

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