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AFT Resolutions

PROMOTING QUALITY HEALTHCARE THROUGH ERROR REDUCTION

The following resolution was adopted by the AFT Executive Council, Oct. 16, 2001 

WHEREAS, the Institute of Medicine has reported that many preventable medical errors are made in American hospitals each year; and

WHEREAS, preventable medical errors can be reduced by rewarding hospitals that implement significant safety improvements; and

WHEREAS, health insurance costs can be reduced when insurance is purchased from companies that encourage hospitals to implement more stringent safety measures; and

WHEREAS, three hospital safety measures have been identified, through independent scientific evidence, to significantly reduce medical error:

  1. Computer based prescription systems for physicians to reduce ordering errors;
     
  2. Patient referral systems that direct patients to hospitals with the best survival rates for needed procedures; and
     
  3. Staffing ICUs with physicians who have the credentials in critical care measures; and

WHEREAS, a voluntary program aimed at mobilizing large purchasers of health insurance, the Leapfrog Group, has identified these three initial standards for improving medical care and lowering medical errors; and

WHEREAS, the Leapfrog Group is working with the provider community to arrive at aggressive but feasible target dates for implementing these reforms;

RESOLVED: that the American Federation of Teachers (AFT) will join with the Leapfrog Group to actively promote these three quality standards and will work with other like-minded organizations to develop additional standards around other issues affecting patient safety and health care costs, such as nurse staffing;

RESOLVED: that the AFT will take appropriate action to educate and communicate the value of these reforms in reducing the number of preventable medical errors and rising healthcare costs;

RESOLVED: that the AFT will provide our locals, bargainers, lobbyists and leaders with information, including talking points, draft contract language and Request for Proposal (RFP) language, that can be used to encourage insurance providers to require hospitals to implement these life-saving and cost-reducing reforms.


(2001)