Healthcare Forward Report: Patient and Provider Safety

The Center for Patient Safety (CPS) is excited about our new report being released this week: Healthcare Forward. While CPS began in 2005 with a focus on patient safety efforts in hospitals, our services have since expanded across the continuum of care and the new report highlights safety issues observed, not just in hospitals, but in all areas of healthcare. CPS works tirelessly to reduce preventable harm through services and programs designed to collect information around adverse events, near misses and unsafe conditions. CPS reviews contributing factors with the end goal of helping organizations provide safer, high quality care for their patients. It is based on the review of this information, combined with our expertise in the field and ongoing research in the industry, that the information in this campaign is prepared.

Healthcare is aiming for the goal of becoming a high reliability organization. The challenge for healthcare is meeting specific outcome measurements for reimbursement while continually evaluating processes. However, if healthcare is to continually provide high quality, safe, patient care across the continuum of care, the challenge must be met! The process of driving healthcare forward as a high reliability organization or business encompasses five steps. First; to be sensitive to operations (understand processes). Second; to be reluctant to accept the first explanation for an adverse events. Third; to have a preoccupation with failures. Fourth; to defer to expertise and lastly to show resilience.

Another ideal healthcare need is to hardwire the idea that patient safety isn’t a concept that should be boxed into hospital or inpatient care.  Rather, patient safety should be a priority across the continuum. Patient safety should start with the patient’s home and their own health literacy and be an integrated value of all healthcare providers from hospitals, to medical offices, long term care facilities, home care providers and EMS.

Support and care for healthcare providers is another foundational component that many healthcare organizations have been missing for many years. Healthcare is looking at a current shortage of both nurses and physicians.  Burnout is very real.  To keep skilled professionals in healthcare organizations need to have processes and programs in place to support a provider if an error occurs that harms a patient.

Organizations also need to ensure that appropriate support and systems are in place for healthcare providers if/when they are subjected to violence in the workplace. Being the target of verbal/physical abuse or harassment should not be considered “part of the job”.

This new CPS campaign looks at how patient safety is integrated across the continuum of care.  It focuses on the components that can move Healthcare Forward, principles such as communication, organizational culture, and leadership.  It doesn’t matter what area of healthcare a provider works, all three components are required to move the needle in regards to patient safety. First, leaders set the example through their actions. Second, communication should be open, shared and verified; and lastly, a strong patient safety culture encourages open discussion regarding adverse events, near misses and unsafe conditions.

The new report highlights five different patient care topics and these principles play into the different topics.  These topics include health literacy, opioid safety, medication reconciliation, respiratory compromise, and transition of care.  Each topic includes case scenarios from different healthcare arenas and offers questions for leaders and employees of organizations to ask themselves in regards to their policies and processes.  The report also contains two areas of support for healthcare providers: second victims and violence against healthcare workers. These topics also contain scenarios, but more importantly the questions posed provide a starting point for healthcare organizations to begin putting into place programs to support and retain their staff.

Patient safety isn’t isolated to inpatient care, it’s a fundamental concept of patient care and a right of every single patient. Safety is also a core component for healthcare providers.  To retain qualified staff and attract new staff, organizations need to have the systems and processes in place that also support their employees. Our hope is that this report will help bring not only the fundamentals of patient safety to the forefront in all healthcare arenas, but especially the concept of a strong patient safety culture.

Patient Safety Awareness Week is March 11-17, 2018

Patient Safety Awareness Week (PSAW), an initiative from the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) and the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, is designed to raise patient safety awareness among healthcare providers and consumers. This year, PSAW is March 11-17. It’s a great time to celebrate successes and re-focus on patient safety opportunities in your organization. The Center encourages providers and consumers to obtain information about patient safety issues. Below are highlights of Patient Safety Awareness Week activities.

Take advantage of the following resources and conferences to help launch a successful campaign! The Center’s highly anticipated Patient Safety Toolkit will be available for download by CPS Subscribers.

Join us on social media and check out these patient safety resources and tips we’re sharing during #PSAW2018!


Patient Safety Forum, March 14, 2018

Everyday across the country, healthcare is provided in many clinical settings and environments.  Likewise, the healthcare landscape is complicated as it evolves at an ever-quickening pace with new specialties, titles and tools.  Coupled with the growing demands placed on clinicians and healthcare leaders, how do we ensure the safety of our patients?  Join us for this collaborative opportunity to learn with other providers across the continuum of care how patient safety can be improved.
Added Bonus! All attendees of the forum will become a Subscriber to CPS’s online resource center, which provides toolkits, special previews to upcoming events, and a community forum. Find out more about becoming a subscriber!

Learn more about the Forum


Second Victim Experience, March 19, 2018

Most health care providers adjust well to the multitude of demands encountered during an unexpected or traumatic clinical event. Providers often have strong emotional defenses that carry them through and let them “get the job done.” Yet sometimes the emotional aftershock (or stress reaction) can be difficult. Signs and symptoms of this emotional aftershock may last a few days, a few weeks, a few months, or longer.

Added Bonus! All attendees of the workshop will become a Subscriber to CPS’s online resource center, which provides toolkits, special previews to upcoming events, and a community forum. Find out more about becoming a subscriber!

Learn more about the Second Victim Workshop


The CPS Patient Safety Improvement Approach

The Center for Patient Safety believes every patient safety improvement journey includes an evaluation of your current culture. It’s important to use meaningful data to understand how staff perceive the organization’s approach to patient care. Our bundled approach gives you peace of mind that you’re working with the patient safety experts – and we want YOU to be successful!

Step 1: CPS administers a survey to your staff and provides a detailed interpretation of your results.
Step 2: We work closely with you to develop your action plans and next steps.
Step 3: Our work continues with you over the next six months to a year to provide education and training, workshops, resources and tools. We support you in reaching your goals!
Learn more about the CPS Patient Safety Approach through Culture Change

Using Culture in Your Organization

This article is an excellent read!  Patient safety culture and patient safety are the buzzwords these days, but what are some actions to help you improve your patient safety culture?

  • First, understand the culture of your organization. This is truly the foundation for prioritizing patient safety.
  • Involve your patients and their family members as active participants in their care. This helps increase their health literacy, which contributes to improved patient outcomes.
  • Reinforce that reporting events is necessary so you can continually evaluate and improve systems—-not to provide fuel to blame the healthcare providers. Providing a user-friendly reporting system that is integrated into your organization’s daily processes will increase the number of reported events and unsafe conditions.

To sum it up:  “In the long run, patient and workforce safety will not only be a moral imperative but will likely be critical to sustainability and essential to delivering on value.”   (Gary Kaplan, MD)

View Article

Administering a Culture Survey

IF IT’S EASY, YOUR PROBABLY NOT DOING IT RIGHT.

Why assess your culture?

You can improve what you measure. Without measuring, you have no way to know if you are improving.

These statements are especially true when it comes to assessing your culture. It may be easy to take a quick poll of staff and infer their perceptions to that of the rest of your organization’s employees, but there’s no certainty in your results. Using a standardized survey tool can provide measurable and meaningful feedback.

Another reason to assess your culture is because many regulatory and certifying bodies now require or recommend measurement of an organization’s patient safety culture. This is because they, too, recognize the clear connection between strong cultures with open communication and the effective implementation and sustainability of patient safety and quality improvement programs.

  • The Joint Commission
  • Leap Frog
  • CMS Merit-based Incentive Payment
    System (MIPS)
  • CMS Quality Assurance and Performance Improvement (QAPI)

The Center for Patient Safety has been administering culture assessments since 2010, and we understand the most successful organizations have a fine-tuned process for administering the survey and analyzing their results. In this article, we’ll discuss some of the most pertinent planning details when preparing to launch a survey. Subsequent articles will include diagnostic tips for evaluating your survey data.

While standard online survey templates may ease the burden of survey administration, there are four key areas that, if addressed upfront, can save time, resources, and frustration in the long run.

1. Which Tool.
The Center has always supported the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Survey on Patient Safety (SOPS) tools though there are many other surveys that can provide a similar analysis. The SOPS tools have been developed for a multitude of healthcare provider types with specific, relevant questions asked, based on varying care settings, such as nursing homes, hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers, pharmacies and medical offices. These surveys have also been psychometrically tested and validated and are available in more than 40 languages.

2. Which Medium.
How do you normally administer surveys to your staff? Are they at ease with an online version, or are they most comfortable with a paper survey? While this seems like an insignificant question, it is quite important. If staff are fearful, they will hesitate to write unfavorable feedback on a paper survey because they think their handwriting will be recognized. However, they may also think the organization will track their online response back to them for purposes of punishment. Using a third party vendor often works best and creates a neutral environment for staff to respond. Consider offering a combination of online and paper surveys. Allow staff to take the survey in a confidential environment with varying options for submitting them. Providing options other than submitting them to their manager increases anonymity, resulting in truer results.

3. Custom Questions.
We often get question-happy when it comes to surveys. It’s efficiency at its finest: “While we have our staff’s attention, let’s just go ahead and ask a few more questions, like what they thought about the EHR implementation, their employee engagement for the year and what sport the organization should have at the next company picnic.” This is a big no-no. If you’re using a standardized survey, keep the list of questions short and relevant. The AHRQ SOPS ask about 45-50 questions and can take up to 15 minutes to complete. Limit additional questions to no more than five and keep it related to culture. More than five questions on an unrelated topic will cause confusion and create survey fatigue.

4. Promotion.
Staff won’t do something if they don’t know they need to do it. Put a little effort into marketing the survey and you’ll get a very valuable return. The more staff that take your survey, the more accurately your results will reflect the culture of your organization. This in turn gives you better data to analyze. Plan with your marketing department, do a search on Google, or harness your creativity to develop posters and email templates. Ask your CEO or President to write a brief memo about the value and importance of all staff taking the assessment and their desire to see honest feedback. Put a link to the survey on your Intranet; distribute surveys at a monthly staff meeting; offer a certificate for a free drink for turning in a completed survey; or host a pizza party if you reach your target response goal. These are small tokens of appreciation that can have a big impact on getting valuable insight.

In Summary 

Your time will be most efficiently spent analyzing the results and preparing action plans post-survey, so addressing these four areas upfront will remove many of the headaches that can go along with planning and administering a survey. If a third-party option is a better choice for you, please contact the Center for Patient Safety to discuss our custom options. We’ll even help in the analysis of your survey results. Find out more information about our survey services.

CPS Safety Culture Assessment

“I am very impressed with the reports. I know my leadership team will be thrilled to have the individual reports by their division. This
has been a very positive experience for me.”

“We love the Center’s patient safety culture survey feedback reports. The department level reports give a level of granularity we
were lacking with previous surveys.”

The Center focuses heavily on culture to support patient safety improvement. A punitive environment discourages open communication of events and near misses, creating a barrier to learning about the mistakes that are occurring.

The Center has been administering the AHRQ Surveys on Patient Safety (SOPS) since 2011. Since then, we have administered hundreds of thousands of surveys and provided survey support, feedback reports, and consultation to hundreds of organizations.

A select group of 42 hospitals were selected from the 2016 database. These organizations were selected based on their activity level and extended use of the Center’s resources and services for PSO participation, webinar attendance, resource usage, and consulting. An analysis of their patient safety culture scores are compared to the national compare database from AHRQ. More than 14,000 surveys were analyzed.

  • 7 dimensions were equal to or higher than the 50th AHRQ Percentile
  • “Nonpunitive Response to Error” ranked in the 75th AHRQ Percentile
  • 23 questions were equal to or higher than the 50th AHRQ Percentile
  • “We are actively doing things to improve patient safety” ranked in the 90th AHRQ Percentile

The top strengths for these organizations align with the top strengths from the 2016 AHRQ Hospital Compare Database:

However, the areas with potential for improvement, or the lowest scoring dimensions, indicate variation in two of the composite scores:

The Center has had a long history with a focus on creating a nonpunitive environment. The dimension includes the question “Staff worry that mistakes they make are kept in their personnel file.” The higher score for the composite “Nonpunitive Response to Error” is statistically significant (>5%). Compared to the national average, the organizations in our select group are in the 75th percentile nationally.  While most of the respondent emographics for the hospitals included in the Center’s summary align with the AHRQ Compare Database, it is worth noting:

  • 15% of staff indicated they report 11-20 event reports per year; 29% indicated they report 3-5 events per year (statistically significant variation from AHRQ National Compare Database)
  • Higher numbers of reports suggest an environment that supports open communication without a fear of retribution or punishment.

Additional notes:

  • 85% of respondents had direct patient care
  • 41% of staff worked 1-5 years in the current work area
  • 36% of staff worked 1-5 years in the current hospital; 13% worked 21 years or more in the current hospital
  • 44% of staff indicated they were a Registered Nurse

Click here to download the full data report.

Interested in receiving reports like this for your organization’s departments or locations? Request a no obligation price estimate with a summary of the Center’s survey administration services.

The Joint Commission released Sentinel Event Alert #57

The Joint Commission released Sentinel Event Alert #57 this week:  The Essential Role of Leadership in Establishing a Patient Safety Culture.

The Center for Patient Safety supports the 11 patient safety tenets and provides services and supports to help health care providers across the continuum improve patient safety.  For additional information contact us.

It’s Patient Safety Awareness Week – #PSAW2017

The Center for Patient Safety encourages providers to use the week as a great way to remind the staff and community of their commitment to safety.
It should be a time of celebration of successes, but also a time of reflection.

In recognition of the week, and the efforts that continue every day throughout the year, the Center for Patient Safety is offering a 20% discount on the already affordable safety culture survey services. Download a proposal with sample feedback reports and an online sample survey link. We encourage the use of the survey as a diagnostic tool to assess your culture. Get started today and take advantage of the offering!

Several available toolkits can support your improvement efforts. It’s easy to start with tools that have already been developed and proven successful:  10 Patient Safety Tips for Hospitals

We also want to remind you that consumer involvement is important to ensure a successful patient safety program. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality provides several flyers and videos that can complement your events and programs during Patient Safety Awareness Week:

Patient Safety Awareness Week Approaches, March 12-18th

The Center for Patient Safety (CPS) encourages all healthcare organizations to use Patient Safety Awareness Week, March 12-18th, as a way to remind staff and community of your commitment to safety. It should be a time of celebration of successes, but also a time of reflection.

Free Toolkit for Patient Safety Awareness Week 2017

CPS reminds you to plan in advance for Patient Safety Awareness Week. Plans don’t have to be time consuming or extravagant, but a little planning can go a long way. We recommend hosting an event or several events to recognize patient safety efforts at your organization.

For example:

  • Recognize staff and committees that work every day to provide safe care
  • Launch a patient safety culture assessment during the week (mention this blog and receive 10% off your survey services through CPS!)
  • Have leadership, patient safety/risk/quality department and/or safety committees host events in the cafeteria with snacks or dessert or something special to celebrate safety at their organization
  • Ask departments to develop poster presentations of their successful safety efforts. Display in hallways.
  • Hang a safety awareness week poster in the foyer of the organization with signatures from all staff
  • Hold safety-focused training during Patient Safety Awareness Week
  • Publish safety-focused articles for the organization’s internal newsletter, professional newsletters, local newspapers, local consumer groups
  • Contact a local radio station to host a spokesperson to share patient safety tips and highlights
  • Launch a new safety awareness effort – a “good catch” program, implement a new “CUSP Team”, announce an upcoming “Safety Culture Survey”, etc.

Several available toolkits can support improvement efforts. It’s easy to start with tools that have already been developed and proven successful:  10 Patient Safety Tips for Hospitals

We also suggest you consider consumer involvement to ensure a successful week. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality provides several flyers and videos that can complement events and programs during Patient Safety Awareness Week:

Visit www.unitedforpatientsafety.org for more information and resources about #PSAW2017.

CPS FREE WEBINAR: Leadership, Louder than Words: C-Suite Ambassadors of Patient Safety

Committed c-suite leadership to inspire a shared vision is the most critical element in a successful patient safety program. This non-delegable responsibility sets the example by supporting an open and transparent environment, fostering a patient safety culture among all caregivers.

Learn how senior leaders use these steps to provide and support a safer care venue for all patients:

  • Assessing the Culture
  • Integrating patient safety into your strategic plan
  • Supporting your patient safety plan
  • Improving your care processes
  • Sustaining the gains with redesign and high reliability

Thursday, February 16 from 12-1 pm (Central)

To Register, Click Here.

FREE WEBINAR – Safety Culture Assessment for LTC

Culture impacts everything we do. And it’s no different in health care organizations. The strongest cultures support employee engagement, promote open communication and the sharing of mistakes to foster improvement.

Learn about how the Center’s administrative survey can save you time and money and why measuring your culture is so important to improve patient safety.

Webinar – Tue, Nov 1, 2016 1:00 PM – 2:00 PM CDT

Register Here!

BLOG:

PSO Case Law: Ungurian v. Beyzman, et al., 2020 PA Super 105:

A recent Pennsylvania case shows how courts narrowly interpret the PSQIA, ignoring the D & A pathway and the clear language of the Final Rule. (Ungurian v. Beyzman, et al., 2020 PA Super 105). The cour

Joint Commission New Sentinel Event Alert 61: Managing the Risks of Direct Oral Anticoagulants:

The Center for Patient Safety wants to share this important harm-prevention advice from The Joint Commission and its Sentinel Event Alert: Managing the Risks of Direct Oral Anticoagulants. The Joint Commis

CPS Safety Watch/Alert – Culture Can Improve the Control of Multi-Drug Resistant Organisms:

Issue: A number of events reported co CPS’ Patient Safety Organization (PSO) demonstrate poor handoff communication about the patients’ infectious disease status Examples include: Patient with

Read More

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.