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AMA Helps Physicians Optimize Patient Safety and Quality

Two new AMA reports released today

For immediate release:
July 20, 2010

CHICAGO – To help physicians optimize the quality and safety of patient care, the American Medical Association (AMA) released two new reports today focused on these important health care issues.  A guide to patient safety organizations (PSOs) is being offered free online to all physicians to help them participate in PSOs, a way for physicians to voluntarily report and learn from adverse safety events.  The second report, a study of medical societies’ role in helping guide quality improvement initiatives, finds that physicians strongly believe that AMA is best equipped to assist physicians with improving the quality of health care.

“Physicians are bombarded with information from multiple sources, and it is our goal to provide them with clear guidance that they can implement in their own practices,” said AMA Board Chair Ardis Hoven, MD. “We are pleased to provide physicians with information that will help them in their quest to practice the highest quality medicine.”

The “Physician’s Guide to Patient Safety Organizations” is full of practical information, including a glossary, a reporting checklist and a work-flow model. It also includes an analysis of patient safety evaluation systems and the “Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005”, which created PSOs so physicians and other health care professionals could voluntarily report and learn from adverse events in the delivery of health care.  

In the second report, as part of AMA’s ongoing emphasis on enhancing the quality of patient care, the AMA conducted focus groups with 13 medical societies to assess how the AMA and these groups can best advance quality initiatives. Funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the report focuses on care provided in the physician office, and found that a shared definition, best practices and resources will best sustain quality improvement efforts.  

“Findings from this report will help guide our significant investment in quality improvement efforts as we focus on helping physicians in all practice settings,” said Dr. Hoven.  “The AMA-convened Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement has already developed 270 evidence-based quality measures for a range of health care conditions, and more are in the works.  We are integrating measures into electronic health records to make it easy for physicians to incorporate them into their practice. We are gratified that AMA’s leadership role as a convener and educator is recognized by physicians in this report.” 



Katherine Hatwell
AMA Media Relations

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