While patient safety is ultimately the responsibility of humans, quality management, with its important functions of document control and accreditation management, has been a powerful tool in the effort to mitigate unnecessary patient deaths or negative impacts on quality of life.
We’ve talked about trust between doctors and patients, but what about trust in the system?
There are potentially fatal flaws in some of the medical quality control software programs used today by health care organizations—flaws that are eroding the trust and accountability for which we are striving. The reality is that a widespread lack of controls in some of this software can not only undo these efforts but may also contribute to an increase in patient deaths.
Flaws that exist in some medical quality control software include:
Security vulnerabilities that allow users to alter names on records instead of recording the actual person who is logged into the record;
Back-dating records to dodge non-compliance in an audit, an activity so serious it can lead to loss of Medicare or Medicaid funding;
Allowing for cheating on skill and knowledge-based tests that are essential for professionals to master in order to do their jobs.
Senate Bill S9060 would cleanse the market of weak and negligent tools from endangering patients by requiring that all such software assure full integrity, with safeguards against cheating or any opportunities to manipulate data firmly in place.
Senate Bill S9060 was sponsored by David Carlucci in New York, where he served as a State Senator. It’s a simple bill, without any partisan attempts to include anything not directly addressing the core issue at hand.
The purpose of the bill is simple: to help ensure that established best practices in medicine are scrupulously followed and documented in real time by healthcare practitioners for legal and medical posterity. Its non-partisan language and simple goal outline a clear mandate to clean up the bad actors involved in the various aspects of patient safety, starting with the necessary tools that ironically leave the “quality” out of quality management. By regulating the tools providing control, this bill will combat the ability for bad actors to get away with non-compliance.
Accountability in Healthcare is advocating for this bill and are determined to see this type of language pass into law—not only in New York, but also in other states across the U.S. You can read more about the bill here.