Custom-fit your journey to improved patient safety
It’s no revelation that hospitals across the country are fervently working to improve patient safety. Safety initiatives include ensuring basic but essential infection-control measures, especially encouraging hand-washing, incorporating technologies such as bar-coded medication administration and implementing high-reliability principles adopted from other high-risk industries.
Adopting long-established evidencebased safety practices can generate safety improvement. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel, but in an industry traditionally slow to transform, we must introduce innovative solutions in our safety strategies. I strongly believe that innovation in safety must be customized to your organization and applied in a way that fits with your culture, strategic priorities and resources.
For Baptist Health, the pursuit of making healthcare safer in our “Journey to Zero” has included several efforts.
Leadership has set a tone through active involvement, rounding every day to increase engagement with patients and staff, which has generated quicker resolution to issues, big and small. Our board feels responsible to the community for safety and quality, bringing added accountability and support for significant investments.
Investments have included adding patient-lift equipment and piloting high-tech patient monitoring systems to prevent patient falls. Our latest step was a $1 million investment in new healthcare worker uniforms and patient apparel that use innovative textile technology to minimize the risk of tranmitting infectious organisms.
Why make these investments, some of which haven’t been widely adopted across the industry? They fit our mission and culture.
We embrace being early adopters. But we do our homework. Gathering research, piloting new technologies, col- laborating with vendors on development and fully assessing the impact on culture, costs and benefits are critical.
Hospitals are increasingly measured by third parties and paid on the basis of our ability to deliver high-quality care. There’s no silver bullet in improving safety. We believe that the right things—added together—with an intentional focus on safety offer us the best chance for success.
It takes a commitment to innovation to improve healthcare. By challenging ourselves we also challenge each other, sharing ideas that can help pave new paths on our journey to zero.