AIG Study Shows Hospital C-Suite and Risk Managers Struggle with Maintaining Patient Safety

 AIG Study Shows Hospital C-Suite and Risk Managers Struggle with Maintaining
                                Patient Safety

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, April 19, 2013

NEW YORK, April 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --Maximizing patient safety is the top
priority for hospital C-Suite executives and Risk Managers in the United
States – but, "lack of teamwork, negative culture and poor communication" will
present barriers to patient safety in the future – according to a new survey
commissioned by American International Group (AIG) in consultation with
patient safety expert, Dr. Marty Makary, MD, MPH.

The results revealed a tension between what hospital leaders perceive as their
number one priority in 2013, patient safety (64% C-Suite and 62% risk
managers), and their number one threat, failing to maximize financial
sustainability (60% C-Suite and 62% Risk Managers). While nearly all
respondents (96% of C-Suite and Risk Managers) say their hospital has a
"culture of patient safety," one-third (33% of C-suite and 37% of Risk
Managers) acknowledge that their hospital needs to undergo major changes to
maintain that culture in the future.

"This study is designed to better understand what drives patient safety, the
barriers our healthcare system must overcome to achieve it, and what can be
done to help keep hospitals safer over the next three to five years," said
Russell Johnston, Casualty Product Line Executive, AIG U.S. and Canada.

Hospital Culture

A majority of respondents said the largest barrier to patient safety is lack
of teamwork, negative culture and poor communication (42% C-Suite; 55% Risk
Managers). The main communication and coordination problems cited include:

  oThe perception that nurses fear retribution if they discuss patient safety
    (26% C-Suite, 29% Risk Managers);
  oDocumentation burdens (69% C-Suite, 60% Risk Managers);
  oThe number of patient "handoffs" among hospital staff (56% C-Suite, 61%
    Risk Managers); and
  oThe quality of coordination and communication between departments at their
    hospitals (59% of C-Suite executives, 69% of Risk Managers).

Who "Owns" Patient Safety?

The study also revealed inconsistent perceptions of who is "responsible for"
patient safety and who "owns" it. Virtually all hospital executives (98% of
both C-Suite executives and Risk Managers) agree that "every staff member in
my hospital is responsible for patient safety." But half of both C-Suite
executives and Risk Managers (52% and 51%, respectively) believe that nurses
"own" it. Interestingly, executives see nursing staff turnover as one of the
least influential items on overall hospital risk, including patient safety,
regardless of the fact that they place the onus of patient safety on nurses.

Technology, Regulation, and Metrics

Further complicating the situation, the introduction of new technology,
regulation, metrics, and patient education aimed at helping patient safety are
sometimes perceived has having the opposite effect:

  oThree-quarters (75%) of C-Suite executives see reporting of quality
    metrics as beneficial to safety, yet one in five (20%) sees negative
    impacts on other areas of quality as a result of having to report these
  oWhile most (84% of C-Suite executive and 88% of Risk Managers) agree their
    hospital effectively uses technology to improve patient safety, more than
    half (59% of C-Suite executive and 53% of Risk Managers) say it takes
    clinical staff away from patient care.
  oOne in four executives (23% of C-Suite executives and 24% of Risk
    Managers) admit that their hospital is more focused on driving publicly
    reported metrics rather than truly impacting patient safety. Also, most
    hospital leaders agree the public does not understand how to interpret
    publicly reported patient safety metrics (83% of C-Suite executives and
    89% of Risk Managers).

AIG's commitment to prevention – from Loss Prevention consulting in hospitals
to Pre-Injury Consulting with workers' compensation clients, uses these and
other data-driven insights to better understand and ultimately improve
healthcare outcomes for patients and hospitals.

"Given that nearly half of every dollar spent on healthcare costs is related
to a medical error, improvements in patient safety will provide a quick return
on investment," said Emily Rhinehart, RN, MPH Vice President and Division
Manager for Healthcare Risk Consulting, AIG.

AIG insures over 2,000 hospitals worldwide, employs more than 250 full-time
doctors and nurses, and provides workers' compensation insurance in the United
States, through employers, to nearly 10 million employees.

"When insurers work to understand and improve overall healthcare outcomes, it
results in patients who: experience less pain, quicker recovery time, and
fewer medical complications; return to their family and to work sooner; and
are prescribed the right amount and type of medication, for the right amount
of time," said AIG Casualty's Russell Johnston. "Prevention doesn't cost. It

Full results of the survey can be found at

About the Survey

This survey was conducted between November 13 and December 20, 2012 among 250
hospital C-Suite executives and 100 Risk Managers in hospitals across the U.S.
The survey consisted of a 15-minute, computer-assisted telephone survey
comprised of core questions measuring attitudes and behaviors related to
patient safety and hospital risk. The study then further looked at the
complexities of patient safety exploring internal and external challenges with
half of the respondents, and key influences and transparency with the other

In this study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey result does not vary,
plus or minus, by five percentage points from the results that would be
obtained if interviews had been conducted with all persons in the universe
represented by the sample.

American International Group, Inc. (AIG) is a leading international insurance
organization serving customers in more than 130 countries.. AIG companies
serve commercial, institutional, and individual customers through one of the
most extensive worldwide property-casualty networks of any insurer. In
addition, AIG companies are leading providers of life insurance and retirement
services in the United States. AIG common stock is listed on the New York
Stock Exchange and the Tokyo Stock Exchange.

Additional information about AIG can be found at | YouTube: | Twitter: @AIG_LatestNews | LinkedIn:

AIG is the marketing name for the worldwide property-casualty, life and
retirement, and general insurance operations of American International Group,
Inc. For additional information, please visit our website at All
products and services are written or provided by subsidiaries or affiliates of
American International Group, Inc. Products or services may not be available
in all countries, and coverage is subject to actual policy language.
Non-insurance products and services may be provided by independent third
parties. Certain property-casualty coverages may be provided by a surplus
lines insurer. Surplus lines insurers do not generally participate in state
guaranty funds, and insureds are therefore not protected by such funds.

Matt Gallagher,,


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