July 2015
Swank Health: Your monthly news from Swank HealthCare


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Did You Know?

Patient Safety Awareness

Top List
What's Going On?

Swank HealthCare sponsored the 16th Annual HealthCare Service Excellence Conference

Now Trending

See how well you score on national statistics related to patient safety.

Recommended Readings

Recommended Courses*
  • #44115 / #66415 High Reliability in a Healthcare Setting
  • #45215 Teamwork and Leadership
  • #315814 / #16014 Teamwork and Leadership: Healthcare Professionalism
  • #34915 Applying Culture to Working with Families and Individuals in Healthcare

* course numbers may vary by facility

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Did You Know?

Patient Safety Awareness

Patient Safety Awareness Week is an annual education and awareness campaign led by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF). This year’s observance runs March 13 – 19, with the theme, “United for Patient Safety: Every Day is Patient Safety Day.” Every year, healthcare organizations take part in the event by highlighting the importance of patient safety among staff, patients, and the community.

This past December, the NPSF released a report by an expert panel of national and international leaders in the field of patient safety, “Free from Harm: Accelerating Patient Safety Improvement Fifteen Years after To Err is Human.” The report addresses areas of improvement, remaining gaps, and recommendations for progress directed to stakeholders on all levels, from congress and government agencies, to professional societies, safety organizations, educators, researchers, and vendors, to healthcare organizations across the continuum of care, including governing boards, leadership, and the workforce.

Despite some areas of noted improvement, the report confirms that preventable harm continues to occur frequently and affects patients in every type of healthcare setting. The panel makes eight recommendations for improvement, with the emphasis on the need for a total systems approach rather than specific initiatives. The recommendations are:

  1. Ensure leaders establish and sustain a safety culture. The report noted that the panel felt this to be the most important recommendation as it is “the foundation to achieving total systems safety.” It called for:
    • Leaders to be educated on the importance of safety culture and that they clearly communicate safe care as a priority and non-negotiable goal
    • Tools be developed and made available to organizations to help affect culture change
    • Hospital boards to be engaged and demand that leaders recognize
  2. Create a centralized and coordinated approach to patient safety. Although the 1999 IOM report, To Err is Human, called for national coordination of patient safety, that recommendation has yet to be accomplished. Centralized oversight is recommended as:
    • A provision for leadership and accountability
    • A mechanisms for sharing of information and best practices across the continuum of care
    • To avoid unnecessary duplication of efforts
  3. Create a common set of safety metrics that reflect meaningful outcomes. The report emphasized the fragmentation and duplication of current safety measures, which are reactive and most do not allow for mitigation to prevent harm. It called for:
    • Creating new ways to proactively identify and measure safety hazards that span the care continuum, and for retiring invalid metrics
    • Improvement of safety reporting systems that include timely feedback
    • Financial and non-financial incentives for innovation and improvement
  4. Increase funding for research in patient safety and implementation science. The report emphasized the need for a better understanding of safety hazards and ways to prevent them. It called for:
    • Collaboration between researchers in patient safety and those in safety sciences across industries
    • Sustained financial resources and expansion of programs for the advancement of patient safety and implementation science
    • Better sharing of safety innovations
  5. Address safety across the entire care continuum. Over the past 15 years, research and efforts for improvement in patient safety have focused, largely on inpatient care, despite the majority of care being provided outside of hospitals. The panel recommends:
    • Funding for research to better understanding safety hazards in settings outside hospitals
    • Tools, processes, and structures to be developed and implemented throughout the care continuum
  6. Support the health care workforce. This recommendation is founded on research that shows patient safety improves when the workforce is safe, morale is high, and wellness is a priority. The panel calls for
    • Training on safety culture and implementation science for healthcare professionals throughout their careers
    • Resources that support the workforce and improve working conditions
    • The development of measurements on physical and psychological safety of the workforce that are routinely reviewed by leadership and governing boards
  7. Partner with patients and families for the safest care. The report stresses the need for patient and family engagement through open communication to and from the patient, and an environment where patients and families are treated with respect and dignity. It recommends:
    • Communication training for all healthcare workers, including shared decision making, cultural sensitivity, language literacy, listening, and respect
    • Patients and families to have timely access to resources and their medical record
    • Meaningful patient and family involvement in the design of care, safety, quality initiatives, and root cause analyses
  8. Ensure that technology is safe and optimized to improve patient safety. Although technology has been useful in bringing about significant improvement in some areas of patient safety, it can, and has introduced new adverse events. Recommendations include:
    • a. Transparency about health It safety hazards and best practices
    • Ways to identify and measure adverse effects of health IT
    • Development of health IT safety performance standards
    • Health IT that allows for communication and coordination with patients and families

What's Going On?

Swank HealthCare sponsored the 16th Annual HealthCare Service Excellence Conference at the Hilton Tapatillo Cliffs Resort February 8-10, 2016. This year’s conference included a record number of attendees seeking a path to sustainability in Service Excellence, with this year’s title being Navigate: A new era of experience driven healthcare.

As a proud partner of Custom Learning Systems, Swank HealthCare sponsored the accreditation for Nursing credits through the Saint Louis University School of Nursing. Our team also exhibited and networked with partners including Custom Learning Systems, The Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network, and several clients of our Learning Program. Swank HealthCare supports Hospital Leaders with Continuing Education for Professional and Organizational Development, as well as our HCAHPS Performance Improvement Series which focuses on employee targeted training techniques to strengthen patient communication and improve patient satisfaction results.

For more information on improving your staffs’ development through Accredited Continuing Education or HCAHPS Performance Improvement and how it has helped position other hospitals for better reimbursements from the Centers for Medicaid Services, please contact Swank HealthCare at 1-877-227-0325.


Recommended Readings


Top List

According to a Health Science Journal article: The development of a patient safety culture, the 7 subcultures of a patient safety culture are:

  1. Leadership – leaders must make patient safety a priority and consistently communicate that message through words and actions.
  2. Teamwork – A spirit of collaboration and cooperation must exist among leaders, staff, and physicians.
  3. Evidence-based – Organizations that standardize processes based on evidence are known to reduce variation that leads to unsafe care.
  4. Communication – All members of the workforce should, not only feel safe speaking up when they have concerns about patient safety, but that their voice in doing so is valued. Leaders foster trust with timely feedback.
  5. Learning – When mistakes and errors occur, an organization should use those experiences to promote learning and performance improvement. Education and training should be provided and encouraged on a wide variety of patient safety topics for staff and physicians in all disciplines and settings.
  6. Just – Leaders should hold staff accountable for reckless behavior, but should recognize mistakes that lead to errors as system failures.
  7. Patient-centered – Organizations should encourage and support active participation from patients and families in the design of care processes and quality initiatives.

Now Trending

See how well you score on national statistics related to patient safety.

What percentage of patients experiences an adverse event during hospitalization, such as a healthcare-acquired infection or fall? (AHRQ, 2014, Efforts to Improve Patient Safety Result in 1.3 Million Fewer Patient Harms: Interim Update on 2013 Annual Hospital-Acquired Condition Rate and Estimates of Cost Savings and Deaths Averted from 2010 to 2013.)

A. 5%
B. 8%
C. 10%
D. 15%

The approximate number of patients that experience a diagnostic error in outpatient care each year is _____. (Singh H; Meyer AND, Thomas Ej. 2014 The frequency of diagnostic errors in outpatient care: estimations from three large observational studies involving US adult populations, BMJ Qual Saf)

A. 500,000
B. 800,000
C. 2 million
D. 12 million

About how many outpatients are treated in the emergency department each year for an adverse event caused by a medication? (Budnitz DS, Pollock DA, Weldenbach KN, Mendelsohn AB, Schroeder TJ, Annest JL. 2006. National surveillance of emergency department visits for outpatient adverse drug events. JAMA.)

A. 90,000
B. 200,000
C. 700,000
D. 4 million


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Answer

C – 10%

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D – 12 million.

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Answer

C – 700,000. Of those, 120,000 require hospitalization.

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