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Public and Private Policy
Medical Errors and Patient Safety


Arizona has no adverse event / medical error reporting program, and public advocacy for patient safety or event reporting has not become a primary focus into early 2006.

Support for patient safety initiatives within private organizations includes limited activity within the Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA) and CMS-contract activities of the Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG), Arizona's QIO.

  • •  State / Public Initiatives

    Arizona has demonstrated limited public support and resources for patient safety issues. There are no inititiatives or programs within the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) that specifically address patient safety or adverse event reporting.

    The 2003 legislature required healthcare organizations to develop protocols for ‘reviewing adverse events that are reported by health professionals, and the law specifically added limited protections against retalilation for those health professionals who report to JCAHO or regulatory authorities. [A.R.S. § 36-450]

    The legislature also mandated reporting of physician profiles in 2003, creating web-searchable reports of all licensed physicians' credentials, prior malpractice suits, and criminal activity. [A.R.S. §32-1403.01]

  • •  Private Initiatives
    • ◊  Arizona Hospital and Healthcare Association (AzHHA)

      The AZHHA, is the trade organization representing Arizona hospitals. The AzHHA, in collaboration with the Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG) – the QIO for Arizona, houses the Patient Safety Task Force, which includes over 15 representatives from hospitals and healthcare systems. The goal of this statewide effort is to share information on best practices to a wide range of clinical issues directly linked to patient safety. The Task force published guidelines for correct identification of patients, their surgical sites and procedures in 2003. No guidelines have subsequently been published.

      Most advisories and legislative analyses addressing patient safety issues on the AzHHA website are restricted to members only, and there is little information available to the Public on these issues.

    • ◊  Arizona Medical Association (ArMA)

      The Arizona Medical Association (ArMA) serves the interests of Arizona physicians. There are no initiatives addressing Patient Safety or event reporting noted on the website through early 2006. Much of the ArMA website is restricted to physician members.

    • ◊  Health Services Advisory Group (HSAG)

      As part of its contract with CMS, HSAG, the Quality Improvement Organization serving Arizona has projects that address healthcare quality and patient safety. HSAG has collaborated with the AzHAA on the Patient Safety Task Force, but no new guidelines have been published from that group since 2003.

      The HSAG management agenda is driven by provider community, as evidenced by the fact that 7 of 9 Board of Directors are physicians.

      Some portions of the HSAG website are restricted to participating partners.

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