The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) announced plans this week to merge their organizations, effective May 1.
In a press release, the two organizations stated that in recognition that patient safety is a public health issue, they also recognized the need for fresh, robust approaches and constant focus for health care systems. The combined organization will be led by IHI President and CEO Derek Feeley and will continue under the IHI name.
The merged patient safety teams, to be led by NPSF President Tejal Gandhi, will combine existing NPSF and IHI patient safety programs and reflect an enhanced commitment to achieve patient safety around the world.
In the press release, Feeley said it was the right time for the two organizations to join forces “to help reset and reenergize the patient safety agenda, building on a mutual history of helping health care systems gain the knowledge and skills to implement harm reduction across the entire continuum of care.”
“Improving patient safety has always been central to IHI’s mission of improving health and health care quality,” Feeley said in a statement. “Yet safety now competes for attention and resources with other important issues such as value-driven care and population health. By joining forces, IHI and NPSF will be more effective in helping leaders and frontline clinicians meet all of today’s challenges while ensuring that patient safety remains a priority along the way.”
Gandhi called the merger “a game-changing opportunity for the patient safety field.”
“NPSF and IHI each have a history of raising awareness around patient safety issues and educating the health care workforce about best practices,” Gandhi said. “Our programs are distinct but highly compatible, and we share experience, expertise, and a common goal of accelerating patient safety improvement. NPSF has provided critical thought leadership with the aim of establishing safety as a core value in health care, and IHI has demonstrated an ability to influence large-scale, global change. This merger promises to strengthen our ability to advance progress in patient safety in the coming years.”
The merger announcement comes at the start of Patient Safety Awareness Week, a highlight of the NPSF United for Patient Safety campaign. The groups released a new call to action about the need for a coordinated public health response to improve patient safety. The groups say that the document outlines how a public health framework can bring about widespread advances in patient safety and provides specific recommendations for how it can be used to reduce harm to patients and the workforce.