Sunday, March 2, 2008

Novel Grant Awarded

Rush University Medical Center received a grant for $124,633 from the Otho S.A. Spague Memorial Institute located in Chicago to support a novel patient safety project. The pilot program is a first-of-its-kind and has the potential to serve as a model for similar mediation programs throughout Chicago and the nation.

The Medical Malpractice Mediation Program started at Rush in 1995 has been working to mediate malpractice disputes by acknowledging adverse events and then fairly compensate patients that may have been injured as a result. The program’s goal is to help resolve patient safety issues problems that might otherwise to court. In Rush’s newly grant funded mediation and patient safety project, the mediation process will not only work to amicably resolve disputes, but now the program will also move to take corrective actions to avoid adverse events in the future.

The new grant program will enable the mediation team to review a sampling of cases and not only select cases with critical safety issues but also select cases that hold promise to achieve lasting change in patient safety issues. Robert A. McNutt, MD., Chief of Medical Informatics and Patient Safety at Rush will serve as the medical advisor for the patient safety projects that result from these cases. In addition, patient safety officers from the Institute will become an integral part of the Rush Mediation Program offering clinical strategies to reduce the possibility that similar incidents will occur in the future.

The findings from the cases will be disseminated to senior executives within Rush and later to Chicago’s medical and legal communities and the hope is to increase awareness within these communities on the findings. Rush University sees the funding for this project contributing to a leading-edge approach for reducing future medical malpractice actions.