Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and leaders from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, and Food and Drug Administration yesterday held a listening session with certain health system leaders and patient safety advocates they invited to discuss the department’s plan to launch next year a National Healthcare System Action Alliance to Advance Patient Safety. 

According to HHS, participants in the Action Alliance will share evidence-based approaches to improving patient and health care worker safety through expert mentorship and peer-to-peer learning, building on other national efforts to advance patient safety, patient and family engagement, health care workforce safety and a learning health care system. 

The health system leaders emphasized that safety is a core value for their organizations, and endorsed the concept of working together to achieve safer care for all patients and protect their workforce. They urged HHS to recognize the substantial challenges hospitals face, including workforce shortages and burnout, workplace violence, increased labor costs, inadequate reimbursement, and emergency department boarding. They also asked HHS to look for ways to reduce regulatory and measurement burden to free staff to focus on patient safety.  

The agency soon plans to release a video of the listening session and a Request for Information seeking public input on the agenda for the Action Alliance.

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