Shawnee Mission Health’s (SMH) comprehensive Patient Safety Program ensures the highest level of patient safety throughout the organization. A full-time Patient Safety Officer is dedicated to monitoring initiatives, constantly looking for opportunities for improvement.
Some of our current patient safety initiatives include:
Best Practice Implementation
SMH was one of six hospitals in the country to become a charter member of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement’s (IHI) Passport Program. IHI is a world-renowned resource committed to finding and measuring best practices for all types of diseases and conditions, while working alongside hospitals to improve patient outcomes.
SMH has implemented two programs aimed at continuing and enhancing quality patient care at the bedside. Transforming Care at the Bedside created a standardized shift change procedure in which nurses share clinical information at the patient’s bedside. When possible, patients are included in the exchange. This initiative increases accuracy, efficiency and patient safety. Destination Bedside aims to improve the amount of quality time nurses spend treating, educating or comforting patients.
To improve patient safety and assist obstetrics physicians, SMH was the first hospital in the Kansas City area to launch a full-time OB Hospitalist program in February 2008. An OB Hospitalist, employed by SMH, is available around-the-clock to direct treatment of maternity patients when their doctor isn’t on-site or to assist in emergency situations.
Teamwork and Communication
At SMH patients are part of the health care team. We understand what a crucial role communication plays in the continuum of care and has implemented a number of initiatives to ensure positive outcomes. Shift reports and safety huddles take place at the bedside to discuss progress and treatment, as well as any information pertaining to the safety of the patient.
Fall Prevention Program
SMH recognizes that while most falls do not cause any harm, falling can lead to injury and even injury-related death. The Fall Prevention Program at SMH provides tips to help assess a patient’s risk and make any necessary modifications to help prevent a fall from occurring. Below is a list of some of the initiatives currently in place:
- Daily assessments of a patient’s risk for falling. Treatment plans are adjusted as necessary.
- New technology, such as bed alarms, alert nurses when patients who are at risk for falling attempt to get out of bed. Low beds, door alerts and yellow blankets are other initiatives in place to help lessen the risk of falls from occurring. In all areas, nurses check on patients at least every hour to check and take them to the bathroom when necessary.
- Web-based Incident Reporting System
- SMH’s reporting system allows physicians and staff to report safety concerns. Each report is reviewed by the Patient Safety Officer and the Risk Manager so that a plan of action can be developed immediately to address any concerns.
Compliance with the Joint Commission Patient Safety Goals
SMH is dedicated to improving the accuracy of patient identification and communication among caregivers by actively involving patients and families in the care process during their hospital stay.
Patient Transfers and Evidence-based Reporting Standards
When patients are transferred to another area for additional testing, SMH’s nurses provide important information to the transportation staff and caregivers that enable them to continue the highest level of care based on the patient’s history and current condition.
Patient Safety Leadership Rounds
SMH’s Leadership Team
is highly involved in its patient safety efforts. On a regular basis, members of Senior Administration make hospital rounds to hear about patient safety issues and determine what can be done to alleviate any concerns.
Patients are encouraged to be actively involved in their health care team. As a result, SMH launched its Speak Up program to encourage patients to notify their caregivers when they have questions or concerns.
Rapid Response Teams
A team of specially-trained critical care nurses and respiratory therapists are on duty 24/7 to assist nurses in acute care areas providing immediate assessment and treatment in emergent situations.
The members of the Rapid Response Team respond to calls from patients and families regarding any concerns about their care or the care of their loved one.
Medication Error Prevention
With nearly 120,000 doses dispensed every month, physicians, pharmacists and nurses remain committed to ensuring the safe and accurate administration of medicine to all of its patients. SMH’s most recent effort has been to remodel its entire inpatient pharmacy to increase efficiency and further enhance patient safety. A state-of-the-art computerized medication storage system utilizes a special bar code verification technology that helps ensure each medicine is accurate.
The Center for Patient Safety Advisory Council
SMH’s dedication to quality care extends to its patients, families and Board of Trustees. Representatives from each of these areas participate on the Patient Safety Advisory Council to assess current initiatives, identify areas for improvement and implement best practices that ensure the highest level of care.
Disclosure of Errors
Thousands of operations are performed at the hospital each year. In the rare chance that an error occurs, SMH meets with the patient and their family to provide an explanation and discuss what can be done to reverse or alleviate any necessary consequences.
Current efforts underway include:
- Computerized physician order entry
- Computerized medical stocking and bar-code distribution
- Additional management and staff training on human factors, teamwork and communication techniques.