CPS Safety Watch/Alert: Elopement

July 7, 2017    |   By: Alex Christgen, BS, CPPS, CPHQ

TARGET AUDIENCE

  • Nursing, Medical & other Clinical Leaders
  • Clinical Educators
  • Patient Safety/Quality Improvement Leaders
  • Legal/Risk Management
  • And Leaders in:
    • Hospitals
    • EMS
    • LTC
    • Home Care

SAFETY WATCH: ELOPEMENT
Safety Watch v4-2 Elopement

Emergency Services are increasingly dealing with patients who elope prior to receiving care, many times due to lengthy wait times. Patient safety issues associated with these scenarios include increased risk of:

  • Adverse events
  • Misdiagnosis
  • Mental health exacerbation
  • Diversion which can lead to dangerous delays of care

ACTIONABLE ITEMS TO MITIGATE RISK

  • Review/establish an elopement policy
  • Review triage policy/process
  • Identify those at risk for elopement (such as those suffering with psychosis, dementia, drug or alcohol-related conditions)
  • Perform a gap analysis to address issues such as opportunities to reduce risk, assessing staffing, etc.

THE CULTURE CONNECTION

  • Open Communication: Interview staff to see if they have concerns regarding patient elopement
  • Teamwork: Develop a communication tool that will inform all ED staff of a high risk elopement patient.
  • Share: Openly share peer-reviewed best practices from the literature and processes that have been implemented at your facility or other facilities.

RESOURCES

NEXT STEPS

  • Share this watch with the target audience
  • Promote daily safety briefings
  • Continue to share incidents, near misses and unsafe conditions with the Center for Patient Safety

BLOG:

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RESOURCES:

The Center for Patient Safety believes that collaboration and sharing are the best ways to drive improvement. We strive to provide the right solutions and resources to improve healthcare safety and quality.