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About the council.

The Long Island Community Based Patient Safety Advisory Council (PSAC) was developed to have a wide-reaching impact on improving patient safety awareness in local communities while strengthening ties with health care providers. PULSE of NY is grateful to North Shore- LIJ Health System for the on-going support to this Council.

With start up support from Cautious Patient Foundation, North Shore-LIJ Health System, The Long Island Community Foundation and the Nassau Suffolk-Hospital Council, and leadership provided by Ilene Corina, President, PULSE of NY, this project was developed for her Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship of the American Hospital Association/ National Patient Safety Foundation Patient Safety Leadership training. She received a full scholarship to this program from the National Patient Safety Foundation and this innovative model facilitates collaboration between community and healthcare leaders to improve patient safety and engagement in regional healthcare delivery.

The Council's work currently focuses on issues surrounding health literacy and improving patient skills in navigating complex healthcare choices. The Council trains and educates community members with common medical conditions, social-economic lifestyles or literacy level through educational programs and presentations given by industry leaders related to patient safety and health literacy. In turn, members disseminate their learning and expand the impact of the Council's work through activities and projects based in their organizations and communities.

Going forward, there are plans to continue growing membership and maintain or expand on projects that have been established.

To establish an organization where community and health care leaders can collaborate to improve patient safety and health literacy on Long Island and beyond.

1. Develop a forum where participants can learn and share best practices related to patient safety and health literacy from the people who it effects.

2. Organizations develop or participate in a patient safety or health literacy project within their organization, such as an event or an educational initiative related to the members of the organizations’ needs. PSAC leadership will provide individualized support and direction to each project.

PULSE of NY, of which the PSAC was developed from, has been a catalyst for community based patient safety education since 1996. Even before the landmark study by the Institute of Medicine, released in 1999, To Err is Human: Building a Safer Healthcare System(1) which stated that as many as 98,000 people die each year in hospitals from preventable medical errors, PULSE representatives have used available literature and studies to help patients and their families become active partners with their health care team for the best possible outcomes.

PULSE uses the experiences of patients and families and healthcare professionals by joining with national patient safety organizations to create community education workshops whose curricula focus on the need for patients and their friends or family to help take an active role in their care.

Statement of Need
In 1999, the Institute of Medicine report, To Err is Human, Building a Safer Health System, claimed that as many as 98,000 people die in hospitals from preventable medical errors. That is as many deaths as if a jumbo jet crashed every day where every passenger dies. The same study reports that there are 7,000 deaths a year just from medication errors. In 2014 the numbers have grown to 440,000 people making medical errors the third leading cause of death in the United States.

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (www.ahrq.gov), a department of the US Health and Human Services reports that "the single most important way you can help to prevent errors is to be an active member of your health care team".(2) While many hospitals believe that including the patient and their family means giving out reading material about patient's rights and patient's safety, 22% percent of New York State adult residents lack basic skills required to perform simple daily information processing tasks.(3) To include the patient and their family in patient safety, there has to be a more focused program, such as PULSE that offers help to patients through the obstacles of navigating the system for safe, quality care.

1. http://books.nap.edu/openbook.php?isbn=0309068371&page=1
2. http://www.ahrq.gov/consumer/20tips.htm
3. http://www.literacynassau.org/pr-2009-01-26.htm