SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — The National Patient Safety Foundation unveiled a report outlining five areas of focus for improving patient safety, which under the right circumstances will have "tremendous power," says one prominent health system executive.

The “Transforming Health Care” report details findings for health care leaders to determine where their organization stands in the path toward safer care.

The five areas crucial to achieving patient safety and overall safer care are:

  1. Transparency
  2. Care integration
  3. Patient/consumer engagement
  4. Restoration of joy and meaning in work and workforce safety
  5. Medical education reform

Released by the NPSF’s Lucian Leape Institute, the report was praised by Gary Kaplan, M.D., the chair of that institute, but he also cautioned that organizations have to have the right environment of care in place for them to work.

“Each of these concepts has tremendous power when fully actualized to transform health care and to create a much safer environment for our patients and for the people who care for them,” says Kaplan, who is CEO of Virginia Mason Health System, in a talk at the NPSF Patient Safety Congress.

Focusing on these five areas should be priority for hospital leaders, but without a healthy culture and dedicated leadership progress will struggle, says Kaplan.

“Unless we can change our cultures, unless we can ensure we have leadership committed to this work, at the most senior levels of our organizations, we won’t make the progress that our patients and our communities deserve.”