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Facts about the Patient Safety Advisory Group

January 13, 2015

In April 2002, The Joint Commission appointed a panel of widely recognized patient safety experts to advise it on the development of Sentinel Event Alert, The Joint Commission’s patient safety newsletter. At that time, the panel was named the Sentinel Event Advisory Group. Over time, the group’s responsibilities expanded to include advising on National Patient Safety Goals, and in 2009 the panel was renamed the Patient Safety Advisory Group. The group is composed of nurses, physicians, pharmacists, risk managers and other professionals who have hands-on experience in addressing patient safety issues in a wide variety of healthcare settings. The Patient Safety Advisory Group advises The Joint Commission on existing, newly identified and emerging patient safety risks. The Group also advises on the most effective methods that The Joint Commission, Joint Commission Resources, and the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare might employ to assist healthcare organizations in identifying and reducing these patient safety risks. The Patient Safety Advisory Group:

  • Annually recommends program-specific National Patient Safety Goals for adoption by The Joint Commission Board of Commissioners.

  • Reviews draft patient safety recommendations for potential publication in the Joint Commission’s periodic Sentinel Event Alert advisory, and advises Joint Commission staff as to the evidence for and face validity of these recommendations, as well as their practicality and cost of implementation.

  • Recommends potential future topics for Sentinel Event Alert.

  • Assesses and facilitates learning initiatives about sentinel events, Sentinel Event Alerts, and the National Patient Safety Goals, including the implementation and effectiveness of the National Patient Safety Goals. Learning initiatives include on-line tools such as Frequently Asked Questions and PowerPoint presentations; tool kits to facilitate implementation of the National Patient Safety Goals; and educational seminars and workshops. 

Advisory group members

Chair:  James P. Bagian, M.D., P.E., Director, Center for Health Engineering, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Vice-Chair:   Frank Federico, B.S., R.Ph., Executive Director, Institute for Healthcare Improvement, Cambridge, Mass.

Jane H. Barnsteiner, R.N., Ph.D., FAAN, Director of Nursing Translational Research, University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing, Philadelphia, Pa.

James B. Battles, Ph.D., Senior Service Fellow for Patient Safety, Center for Quality Improvement & Patient Safety, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Rockville, Md.

William H. Beeson, M.D., Clinical Professor, Indiana University School of Medicine, Carmel, Ind.

Bona E. Benjamin, B.S., Pharm., Director, Medication-Use Quality Improvement Coordinator, Drug Shortages Resource Center, American Society of Health-System Pharmacists, Bethesda, Md.

Patrick J. Brennan, M.D., Professor of Medicine, Chief Medical Officer, University of Pennsylvania Health System, Philadelphia, Pa.

Michael Cohen, R.Ph., M.S., Sc.D., President, Institute for Safe Medication Practices, Horsham, Pa.

Cindy Dougherty, R.N., B.S., CPHQ, Assistant Vice President, Quality and Patient Safety, Adventist Hinsdale Hospital and Adventist LaGrange Hospital, Hinsdale, Ill. 

Marilyn Neder Flack, M.A., PMP, Senior Vice President, Patient Safety Initiatives, Executive Director, Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation Foundation/Healthcare Technology Safety Institute, Arlington, Va.

Steven S. Fountain, M.D., La Quinta, Calif.

Tejal Gandhi, M.D., M.P.H., CPPS, President, National Patient Safety Foundation, Boston, Mass.

Suzanne Graham, R.N., Ph.D., Executive Director of Patient Safety, Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif.

Martin J. Hatlie, Esq., President, Partnership for Patient Safety, Chicago, Ill.

Robin R. Hemphill, M.D., M.P.H., VHA Chief Safety and Risk Awareness Officer, and Director, National Center for Patient Safety, Ann Arbor, Mich.

Jennifer Jackson, B.S.N., J.D., President and CEO, Connecticut Hospital Association, Wallingford, Conn.

Paul Kelley, CBET, Director, Biomedical Engineering and Green Initiative, Washington Hospital, Fremont, Calif.

Heidi B. King, M.S., FACHE, BCC, CMC, CPPS, Acting Director, Department of Defense (DoD) Patient Safety Program, Office of the Chief Medical Officer, TRICARE Management Activity, Falls Church, Va.

Ellen Makar, M.S.N., R.N.-B.C., CCM, CPHIMS, CENP, Senior Policy Advisor, Office of Clinical Quality and Safety, Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT, Washington, D.C.

Jane McCaffrey, M.H.S.A., DFASHRM, Director-Compliance-Clinical Operations, St. Joseph Medical Center, Towson, Md.

Mark W. Milner, R.N., M.B.A., CPHQ, FACHE, Naples, Fla.

Grena Porto, R.N., M.S., ARM, CPHRM, Practice Leader – Healthcare, ESIS Health, Safety & Environmental, Hockessin, Del.

Matthew Scanlon, M.D., Assistant Professor, Pediatrics-Critical Care, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wis.

Ronni P. Solomon, J.D., Executive Vice President and General Counsel, ECRI Institute, Plymouth Meeting, Pa.

Dana Swenson, P.E., M.B.A., Vice President, Facilities, UMass Memorial Health Care, Worcester, Mass.

For more information, contact Ana Pujols McKee, M.D., Executive Vice President & Chief Medical Officer, (630) 792-5350.