$10 Million Gift To John Hopkins

Gift To Be Used For Patient Safety

John Hopkins received a $10 million gift to open an institute focused on patient safety. The aim of the institute aims to reduce the medical mistakes, which have been plaguing the health care facilities around the country. Being the first of its kind, the institute will focus on researching new techniques to eliminate the errors. The new techniques will assist hospitals around the world to prevent infections, wrong diagnoses, incorrect treatments, and other mistakes that are plaguing the hospitals presently.Gift Provided By C. Michael Armstrong

The gift was offered by the Chairman of John Hopkins board of trustees, C. Michael Armstrong. His relationship with the institute is over two decades old. He has served on the boards of Comcast, AT&T, Hughes Electronics, and IBM. According to Armstrong, although the institute focuses on patient care, there are numerous occasions when the patients were hurt. Therefore, he feels the needed for a dedicated facility to research and develop new methods to bring the necessary change in the cultural outlook of the people.

Importance Of Patient Safety

A study by the Institute of Medicine ten years ago showed that medical faults accounted for over 100,000 deaths annually. A recent study in April has shown that even presently almost one-third of the patients suffer due to a medical error of the doctors. Researchers and other scholars focused on patient safety say that there has been very little effort to prevent such fatal mistakes and the number of deaths continues to remain high. Therefore, many hospitals have commenced programs to increase the focus on the safety of patients while undergoing treatment. These programs include best practices sharing, improving quality measurements, and reporting.

Pioneering Efforts By John Hopkins

Dr. Peter Pronovost who is the professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at John Hopkins developed a safety checklist. This brought the institute in the limelight in the patient safety. Dr. Pronovost’s checklist has since then been implemented by almost every hospital in Maryland and numerous facilities across the U.S. Since the implementation of the checklist, there has been approximately 10% reduction in deaths due to medical errors. Moreover, the fatal and costliest problem has been almost eradicated after the development and implementation of the patient safety checklist. The Center for disease control and prevention and the National Health Institute updated the guidelines for health care service providers to prevent such infections. The hospitals are now required to report these infections from the central lines to federal governments. In 2009, the new guidelines resulted in 58% decrease since 2001 with over 6000 lives saved and $414 million dollars savings in bloodstream infections costs.

A Move In The Right Direction

The focus has been in science to make new discoveries and in clinical science to convert it to improved medicines. The quality of health care and patient safety has been given a backseat with inadequate fund availability for this segment of health care. A huge number of patients suffer from preventable diseases and the focus has to be on improving the health of such patients. The new institute is a step in the right direction and hopes to develop new methods that will eliminate fatal medical mistakes.