Report: Impact of patient safety programs on quality unknown

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It's still unclear whether formal patient safety programs improve healthcare outcomes, according to a new report from the Congressional Research Service.

The report, Medical Malpractice: The Role of Patient Safety Initiatives, says implementation of patient safety programs has not been as widespread as initially projected. There also is a lack of research available to assess their actual impact on outcomes.

But in some cases, health outcomes of some public and private safety initiatives also show "mixed results," the report says. Some states have included patient safety programs in recent medical malpractice legislation. Use of information technology to improve health care outcomes has been successful, the CRS report said.
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