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– TENNESSEE –
Public and Private Policy
Medical Errors and Patient Safety

Patient Safety Coalition

  • •  Tennessee Improving Patient Safety Coalition (TIPS)

    The Tennessee Improving Patient Safety (TIPS) Coalition is a voluntary group of concerned health care stakeholders established in August 2001 that is administered within the Tennessee Department of Health. The broad-based coalition is represented by more than 30 different groups, including health care providers, professionals, industry associations, consumers, regulatory and accrediting organizations and purchasers committed to improving patient safety in Tennessee [PDF].

    The coalition provides leadership and strategic planning for Tennessee's patient safety activities. Its members represent the major interests and stakeholders in health care and patient safety. As stated in the “2002 Unusual Events Summary Report” [PDF, p7]:

    “This group was asked to assist the Department with the goal of improving patient safety in health care facilities in Tennessee and reducing costs, both in terms of human suffering and the economic costs associated with medical errors. This group of individuals has the potential to facilitate learning and collaboration, in addition to providing a forum for leaders to share successful patient safety strategies. The coalition promotes open dialogue about patient safety issues and advocates for an improved culture for reporting and accountability.”

    The coalition has been instrumental in developing ‘Best-Practice Guidelines’, reviewing and recommending changes in reporting guidelines, providing recommendations for legislative changes to address confidentiality and civil liability, plus other contributions noted in the Annual Summary Reports and on the TIPS website.

    The activity of the committee and coalition, as described on the TIPS webpages suggests that all of the activity of the coalition is directed via the Department of Health. The coalition membership [PDF] includes the Commissioner of Health and the Assistant Commissioner of Health and 11 other employees of the Department of Health, including representatives of key professional boards. It would appear that the leadership and the agenda lies entirely within the Department of Health. In this regard, the coalition is not an independent entity like coalitions that have developed in several other states.

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