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Patient Safety Resources

The American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation and AMA are exploring the link between health literacy and patient safety. Our goal is to create safer and shame-free health care environments for patients with limited health literacy, and by extension, to all patients.

Working toward that goal, we have two resources for providers to help them minimize communication-related adverse events - patient safety monograph and patient safety tip cards.

Reducing the risk by designing a safer, shame-free health care environment is a 68-page monograph that offers new supporting research, explores how ineffective communication and low health literacy combine to affect patient safety, provides tools to decrease communication-related adverse events at a systemwide level, and helps physicians initiate changes toward a safer and shame-free practice environment. As a bonus, one Safe Communication Universal Precautions tip card is included in the hard copy which can serve as a take-away reminder of the tips featured within the monograph.  Reducing the risk by designing a safer, shame-free health care environment can be downloaded online. Hard copies of the monograph can be purchased for $15 through the AMA Bookstore or by calling (800) 621-8335 and asking for Item #OP424907.

The Safe Communication Universal Precautions tip card is a laminated, pocket-sized card containing practical tips for providers on how to minimize communication-related adverse events. Root cause analysis finds more than 80% of medical errors are due to communication breakdowns. These communication breakdowns can occur not only between providers and patients, but also between all staff. This tip card can serve as a quick reminder on how to streamline precise and complete communication among staff members.

Both resources are supported in part by an educational grant from Pfizer Inc.

Lastly, the AMA Foundation is proud to help sponsor the AMA Ethical Force Program's patient-centered communication initiatives and joins the AMA every year in observing National Patient Safety Awareness Week.

Continuing Medical Education credit is no longer associated with this product

Original release date: August 2007
Date of most recent activity review: April 2009
Activity expiration date: May 2012

Disclosures for Content Reviewers
Sonja Boone, MD, American Medical Association, Chicago: Nothing to disclose
Daniel Winship, MD, American Medical Association, Chicago: Nothing to disclose
Matthew Wynia, MD, MPH, American Medical Association, Chicago: Nothing to disclose