MGMA issues paper on physician practice safety

The Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) released a white paper Wednesday to help physician practices evaluate and promote safety within their ambulatory care settings.

The free MGMA white paper is a comprehensive analysis of the evolution and management issues related to delivering quality patient care in physician practices, according to MGMA leaders.

William Jessee, MD, president and CEO of MGMA said safety is a property of the healthcare delivery system.

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"While competent, high-performing clinicians are important, safety is primarily determined by administrative processes and procedures," Jessee said. "Therefore, MGMA members are key players in establishing a safe environment for patients – and employees, as well. Practice leaders and clinicians should use MGMA's white paper on patient safety as a guide to make an impact on the quality of care in their practices."

According to Jessee, the paper tells clinicians and their administrative staff how to develop a culture of patient safety. It discusses differences between patient safety in hospitals versus ambulatory settings and shows how to build a patient safety infrastructure that encourages administrative policies and procedures as the framework. It also recommends how establishing practice administrators as chief safety officers can encourage collaboration and leadership in the physician offices.

MGMA is the membership association for professional administrators and leaders of medical group practices. It has 22,500 members in 13,700 organizations nationwide in which some 275,000 physicians provide more than 40 percent of the healthcare services delivered in the United States.

MGMA is holding its annual conference Oct. 11-14 in Denver.