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The Importance of Patient Safety

Bob Dent

At Midland Memorial Hospital, our aim is to create a healthy workplace environment where patients and those who care for them have an exceptional experience with us free from harm. Our patient’s safety is very important to us. The very tenants of patient safety are woven throughout Our Core Values of Pioneer Spirit, Caring Heart, and Healing Mission. All employees are introduced to our culture during the first four days of their orientation. This includes two full days of our Culture of Ownership and a full day of training on Team Strategies and Tools to Enhance Performance and Patient Safety (TeamSTEPPS®). We have created a common language throughout the hospital with these two programs on our culture.

Each morning beginning at 8:16 A.M. we set the stage for the day. Leaders from around the hospital gather in the main lobby of the hospital for the Daily Leadership Huddle. During this huddle, we are very transparent about hospital operations and patient safety reporting on events. These are shared throughout the hospital in department huddles each day. In a no-blame culture, we find opportunities to learn from patient safety events to mitigate any future occurrences from reoccurring. There are many other opportunities for our people, patients, and their caregivers to speak up, or C.U.S. (mentioning their Concern, Uncomfortable, or Safety issues). For example, the Sacred 60: Leadership Rounds. Every day from 10-11 A.M., leaders from around the hospital round on patients and employees, free from any distractions such as meetings, texts, emails, or phone calls. During these rounds, leaders are able to build relationships of trust and transparency. They are better able to identify patient safety concerns to resolve.

We review patient safety related outcomes, policies, procedures, guidelines, and other topics in forums such as:

  • Shared Governance Councils including Unit/Department-Based Councils
  • Patient Safety Committee
  • Performance Improvement Committee
  • Quality Management Oversight Committee
  • Quality Improvement Committee of the Board
  • Board of Trustees
  • Board of Directors

It is recognized in TeamSTEPPS® that knowledge, skills, and attitude make the difference in improving performance and patient safety. The greatest and the most important of the three difference makers is attitude. We need to be emotionally positive, refraining from negative attitudes and other toxic emotional behaviors; Be self-empowered and take initiative to solve problems rather than just complaining about them; And, be fully-engaged with our work and profession, our colleagues, and our mission, vision, and core values.

This post was written by Dr. Bob Dent, Senior Vice President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer of Midland Health.


Bob Dent
Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Hello Stefani,

Thank you for your comment! We have a team of case managers, social workers, hospitalists, and others who meet daily to review at risk patients. There are many metrics we use to provide the right care to the patients. The nurses, as part of the care team, are included. Together, they all should have a clear understanding of the patient's goals. We have seen improvements in some of our metrics after we began our Transition Care Team. We are always looking to improve, however.

Stefani Daniels
Monday, April 17, 2017

Midland is to be applauded to promoting a ulture of safety. I wonder however, if it extends to your case management program and the care coordination activities by your care managers.Are they organized to follow at risk patients longitudinally to advocate for patients and reduce excessive or wasteful medical interventions? Are they promoting timely delivery of care to reduce patient's exposure to iatrogenic risk? Are they making sure every care team member understands each patient's goals and working together for a timely transition? IF the answer is yes, then appears you are maximizing the skill-set of a successful care manager in today's value based marketplace.

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