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Leapfrog: National Quality Forum Safe Practices

The National Quality Forum (NQF) is a not-for-profit organization created to develop and implement a national strategy for healthcare quality measurement and reporting.  It provides a framework and recommendations for improving healthcare quality through a rigorous consensus development process.  The NQF introduced Safe Practices for Better Healthcare: A Consensus Report (NQFSP) in May 2003, and it was recently updated.  The report endorsed 34 safety practices that should be universally applied in clinical care settings to reduce the risk of harm to patients.  The current Safe Practices list (below) covers a broad range of practices, from creating a culture of safety, matching care needs, and service capability, to improving communication and information transfer.  The majority of these are in place or in the process of being implemented across all BH entities.  Additional information on the NQFSP can be found at


1.  Creating and Sustaining a Culture of Safety

                a. Leadership Structures and Systems

                b. Culture Measurement and Interventions

                c. Team Training and Team Interventions

                d. Identification and Mitigation of Risks and Hazards

2.  Informed Consent, Life-Sustaining Treatment, Disclosure, Care of Caregiver

                a. Informed Consent

                b. Life-Sustaining Treatment

                c. Disclosure

                d. Care of Caregiver

3.  Matching Healthcare Need with Service Delivery Capability

                a. Nursing Workforce

                b. Direct Caregiver Workforce

                c. Intensive Care Unit Workforce

4.  Facilitating Information Transfer and Clear Communication

                a. Patient Care Information

                b. Order Read-Back and Abbreviations

                c. Labeling Studies

                d. Discharge Planning

                e. Safe Adoption of Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE)

5.  Medication Management

                a. Medication Reconciliation

                b. Pharmacist Leadership Structures and Systems

6.  Healthcare Associated Infections

                a. Hand Hygiene

                b. Influenza Prevention

                c. Central Venous Line-Blood Stream Infection (CVL-BSI)

                d. Surgical Site Infection (SSI)

                e. Care of Ventilated Patients

                f. Multi-Drug Resistant Organism (MDRO) infections

                g. Catheter-Related Urinary Tract Infection (CR-UTI)

7.  Condition and Site Specific Practices

                a. Wrong Site Surgery Prevention

                b. Pressure Ulcer Prevention

                c. Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Prevention

                d. Anticoagulation Therapy

                e. Contrast Media-Induced Complication Prevention

                f. Organ Donation

                g. Glycemic Control

                h. Fall Prevention

                i. Pediatric CT Imaging



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For more information on the National Quality Forum