Governor Gregoire Directs DOH, Health Boards to Improve Patient Safety

For Immediate Release: August 29, 2007

Governor directs DOH, boards and commissions to take immediate steps toward consistent, standardized approaches to credentialing and discipline

OLYMPIA – Governor Chris Gregoire today reiterated her emphasis on patient safety in response to the recent Health Professions Quality Assurance performance audit.

In a letter sent to Washington Department of Health Secretary Mary Selecky, Governor Gregoire said:

“Like you, my top priority is patient safety. The department, in partnership with 16 boards and commissions, has the job of licensing the right people, taking timely and consistent action when patients are being harmed, and making sure that health care providers are being properly supervised when their ability to practice is restricted.

“All patient safety activities must be handled in a consistent, timely and effective manner.”

Governor Gregoire directed DOH to immediately:

  • Develop specific criteria to address complaints for imminent danger;
  • Adopt mandatory reporting rules by March 2008; and
  • Move quickly to organize credentialing and compliance practices.

Governor Gregoire also sent letters to the chairs of Washington’s health professions boards, asking them to adopt immediately DOH sanction guidelines and threshold criteria and checklist.