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Physician Practice Patient Safety Assessment

In 2006, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP), Medical Group Management Association (MGMA), and the Health Research and Educational Trust (HRET) conducted a self-assessment survey of patient safety in physician practices through a grant from the Commonwealth Fund. The assessment gathered data from a selected sample of 1,600 MGMA member physician practices and helped establish a baseline measure of current procedures to enhance and support patient safety.

The PPPSA tool is now available to all physician practices online. It is designed to help practices accurately evaluate their medication safety, patient handoffs and transitions, surgery and invasive procedures, personnel qualifications and competency, practice management and culture, patient education and communication. The tool, which covers 79 safety-related processes and practices, also can help identify problem areas and ways to improve.  

The PPPSA can help physician practices:

  • Gain specific ideas to improve patient safety and limit liability exposure
  • Compare their data to aggregate results for similar practices
  • Track progress over time
  • Document successes

The online PPPSA site is www.mgma.com/pppsahome/ . For a fee, visitors to the site can complete the survey online and receive scored results and a workbook with baseline data from a large sample of medical practices. A free PDF of the assessment tool also can be downloaded.

In 2009, the partners released Pathways for Patient Safety™, a series of web-based modules aimed at increasing awareness, knowledge and implementation of best practices to reduce the risk of patient harm in physician practices.

Access Pathways