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AMA President Speaks at Patient Safety News Conference

For immediate release:
April 12, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. The following remarks were delivered by American Medical Association President Cecil B. Wilson, MD at a news conference today announcing a new patient safety initiative, the Partnership for Patients.

“Good morning. I’m Cecil B. Wilson, an internist from Winter Park, Florida and the President of the American Medical Association. I’m pleased to be here today to help announce the launch of the Partnership for Patients, a patient safety initiative focused on keeping patients from becoming sicker and helping patients heal without complication.

Throughout this voluntary, goal-oriented initiative, physicians will be encouraged to do everything they can to reduce adverse events and reduce readmissions. For instance, we know that if we ensure that a patient’s primary care physician receives their discharge papers within 24 hours of their release from the hospital, the likelihood of hospital readmission will be reduced.

Improving the quality and safety of health care has been a guiding principle of the AMA since its founding. The AMA is working to improve patient safety through the Making Strides in Safety® program, which provides physicians with patient safety materials and point-of-care tools, and we’ve partnered with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement to help improve outcomes in hospitals through system improvements.

  The AMA is proud to continue to promote a culture of patient safety by joining the Partnership for Patients. We need to do everything we can to avoid preventable patient injuries or sickness while also working to ensure patients are able to heal without complications. Physicians work hard every day to provide excellent care to patients—and they need the best systems in place to support them. Our hope is that this initiative will improve hospital care, improve the health of individual patients, and reduce the cost of health care by improving quality.

As physicians, we look forward to joining other health professionals to advance the work that has already been done to achieve safe, high quality care.  We are pleased that the government is joining us in our commitment to improve patient safety by designating a significant amount of funding towards this initiative. In particular, a portion of this funding will be used to create tools that physicians can use to help achieve the goals of the Partnership for Patients—to improve safety and continuity of care for patients.

The AMA is proud to be  part of the Partnership for Patients, and we as physicians look forward to working with leaders of hospitals, employers, nurses, patient advocates along with State and Federal governments to make hospital care safer, more reliable and less costly. Working together, we can ensure the right care for the right patient at the right time. Thank you.”

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Shannon O’Brien
AMA Media Relations
(312) 464-4443

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