Saturday, February 15, 2014
Waiting Almost 2 Decades
Ronald M. Wyatt, M.D., MHA medical director at The Joint Commission to Address the Public
In 1996, when I was informing the public about their “rights” to information about their doctor’s background, the small group of volunteers I was working with knew that the one place that cared about patient’s safety, before the words were very popular, was The Joint Commission, (known at that time as JCAHO). I knew that The Joint Commission was a place that patient’s could report harm and feel that the reporting was taken seriously. After all, that is what The Joint Commission did. If they didn’t look into reported problems, injuries or unplanned deaths, than who would?
We were surprised when we invited The Joint Commission to speak at a “conference” we were holding one evening at a local congregation, that we couldn’t afford them. The meeting was to be at the South NassauUnitarian Universalist Congregation, in the heart of Freeport Long Island. PULSE of NY was started there as a support group for medical injury survivors. For many years we would meet on a Sunday afternoon, once a month to help each other and learn from each other. We thought of ways to raise the money to bring a speaker in to New York but we couldn’t make it happen. The audience was the hospitals and the healthcare organizations accredited. Today, there are 20,000 organizations accredited by The Joint Commission. Accreditation by The Joint Commission is a symbol of quality that reflects an organization’s commitment to meeting certain performance standards.
I spent almost the next decade working to educate the public about patient safety. Nine years later, I found myself on the board of The Joint Commission. As a commissioner, I make up one of the seven public members, not representing a healthcare organization.
And now another nine years later, The Joint Commission has graciously offered to send Ronald M. Wyatt, M.D., MHA medical director in the Division of Healthcare Improvement at The Joint Commission to come speak at the PULSE of NY Patient Safety Symposiumon Diagnostic Errors addressing the public.
I suggest you don’t miss out on this historic event. Register now before it’s too late. Registration open through February 25, 2014. To see the sponsors and register go to http://www.patientsafetypartners.org/