Continuously Improving Quality and Safety a Top Priority

May 21, 2019

Lawrence General strives to be a high-reliability organization, which means staff across the organization are collectively focused on improving outcomes and ensuring the hospital is a safe environment for patients, visitors, employees, and physicians. To that end, many efforts have been introduced over the past several years to reduce the incidence of serious preventable events, such as health care-associated infections, patient falls, and medication errors.

In addition, the hospital relies on patient feedback to help guide all improvement work. Patient surveys and the Patient and Family Advisory Council both provide valuable insight that informs policies, planning, service delivery, quality improvement, and facility design. This kind of feedback ensures that care is truly patient and family centered and delivered in a setting that supports healing and positive outcomes.

To further inform and direct improvement efforts, Lawrence General administered the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) Culture of Safety survey to all staff in October 2017. This survey provides valuable information on strengths and areas of opportunity in terms of quality and safety.

The results of the Culture of Safety survey also provide a snapshot of employees’ overall views on the hospital’s patient safety efforts, compared to those perceptions at other hospitals across the country. Some key takeaways are noted in the chart below:

  • Based on the hospital’s performance on the 2017 Culture of Safety survey, a considerable amount of work has been done across the organization to improve quality and safety. Highlights include: The Safe + Strong Annual Operating Plan, in its four domains, is focused on the safety and experience of care for both patients and staff.
  • Development of a Performance Improvement Team in the Quality Department designed to provide leadership, planning, and support staff to drive organizational improvements which will create the safest and highest quality experiences for patients, employees, and physicians.
  • Unit-Based Daily Safety Huddles each shift to create a reliable process for proactively identifying patients at risk for safety events, mitigating the risk, and escalating as necessary.
  • Leadership Daily Safety Huddle to create transparency around recent safety events and concerns, share best practices, and celebrate good catches.
  • Implementation of nursing shared governance and unit practice councils with monthly Professional Practice Days allowing frontline nursing staff to serve on quality and safety committees such as the Falls Committee and Skin Team, and to participate in Nursing Grand Rounds.
  • Weekly Senior Leadership Safety Rounds in Labor and Delivery and Surgical Services to improve communication and escalate priorities.
  • Implementing TeamSTEPPs on Labor and Delivery and role-playing real-life situations through interdisciplinary simulation exercises with a plan to create and expand a portfolio of trainers in the organization and embedding it in the medical staff physician credentialing.
  • Implementation of a Behavioral Health Daily huddle in the Emergency Center.
  • Implementation of RL6 Solutions for easier incident reporting, including near misses/good catches, emotional harm events, and more in an easy to use program. This information will provide detailed reports of events throughout the organization.