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Patient Safety Partners Convene at HRSA

Dr. Luis Padilla -- Associate Administrator of the Bureau of Health Workforce -- welcomed officials from 30 states on April 9 for a forum on the National Practitioner Data Bank. Authorized by President Reagan as a patient-safety check, the system today processes a background query every four seconds.
Dr. Luis Padilla -- Associate Administrator of the Bureau of Health Workforce -- welcomed officials from 30 states on April 9 for a forum on the National Practitioner Data Bank. Authorized by President Reagan as a patient-safety check, the system today processes a background query every four seconds.

 

"From state licensing boards to hospital administrators and medical malpractice payers, the wide range of stakeholders who are here is quite impressive ...The information in HRSA's NPDB protects our nation against health care malpractice, waste, fraud and abuse. Everyone here today plays a critical role in this effort, as (BHW) processed over 8.4 million queries last year."

-- Dr. Luis Padilla

Updates, scenarios and hot topics: Scores of staff from state health professions licensing boards, hospitals, federal agencies and health insurers attended 25 sessions throughout the day on changes in policy, reporting procedures and emerging trends in malpractice law. Information in the HRSA database is collected from users at more than 23,000 reporting entities nationwide.
Updates, scenarios and hot topics: Scores of staff from state health professions licensing boards, hospitals, federal agencies and health insurers attended 25 sessions throughout the day on changes in policy, reporting procedures and emerging trends in malpractice law. Information in the HRSA database is collected from users at more than 23,000 reporting entities nationwide.

 

Authorized users -- such as hospitals and health plans -- can then quickly search the data bank to identify potential issues related to a clinician's professional competence or conduct. Another key goal: To prevent providers who have done harm from simply moving across state lines to practice elsewhere.

"This repository provides the health care community access to necessary information about the health care practitioners they hire and seek to recruit and retain," Dr. Padilla told the attendees.

"The amount of work and original research that comes out of the NPDB is impressive. We could well sit on that data, not look at it, analyze and share it. But that's not what we choose to do." Rather, he said, the database is now increasingly used by researchers to spot systemic problems in health care.

No small feat: The Bureau of Health Workforce team that oversees the NPDB is headed by (center, right) Dave Loewenstein and (center, left) Melissa Moore. Go here for a concise history of developments in the 29-year-old program -- which has experienced explosive growth every decade since it first went on-line.
No small feat: The Bureau of Health Workforce team that oversees the NPDB is headed by (center, right) Dave Loewenstein and (center, left) Melissa Moore. Go here for a concise history of developments in the 29-year-old program -- which has experienced explosive growth every decade since it first went on-line.

 

"As we do our work, day in and day out, here at HRSA, the main objective is to make sure that we have qualified, skilled clinicians preparing to meet the needs across the country," Dr. Padilla said. "Part of that is the work of NPDB in ensuring that the health care system is safe."

Date Last Reviewed:  April 2019