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Patient safety coordinator Lori Paine and the Quest for Quality prize.
Safety in Numbers

News Sources
Looking to stay abreast of hot patient safety topics? You hold in your hands the most effective source—this very publication. The majority (62%) of the more than 750 staff, patients and visitors who participated in safety surveys at JHH and Green Spring Station during the Patient Safety Awareness Fair said they got their safety news from Dome. Other key communication pathways were the Patient Safety Committee (39%), patient safety teams on the nursing units (35%), the patient safety hotline (32%), Website (31%) and grand rounds (28%). And 30 percent felt that patient safety was an organizational priority; 46 percent said they have participated in a patient safety project.

Key Issues
Survey participants said the top five safety issues in the work area are accident prevention/environmental concerns (17.5%), medication use (16.2%), infection control (11.2%), safety equipment and supplies (7.1%) and patient identification (6.9%). In the institution, medication use (22.5%), infection control (22.5%), accident prevention/environmental concerns (12.7%), security/visitor issues (6.9%), and team work and communication (6.5%) led the pack.

Top 4 Ideas
Four survey participants—two of them anonymous—came up with the best ideas for improving patient safety. Unknown #1 took first place with (his? her?) idea of bringing patient safety education to the ether through e-mail tips. Unknown #2 suggested that staff “educate patients and family members as advocates for themselves and loved ones, while educating health care professionals and empowering them to feel confident in addressing safety issues.” Third place went to Kimberly Nophlin, a labor and delivery nurse who suggested patient safety signage for patients. Tied for fourth were R. Sam Mayer, medical director of inpatient rehabilitation, who put forth the idea of safety checklists, and Unknown #3, who pushed how-to videotapes.

Safety Online

In an efforts to promote the science behind patient safety and quality, the Center for Innovation has launched a new Website ( The site responds to other institutions in the United States and abroad that want to tap into the latest research and innovation taking place in the units of the Johns Hopkins Health System. The Center has also launched a new Intranet site ( JHH employees can check on the status of on-going projects. Included are case studies. The semi-annual newsletter, Quality Update, is posted on both sites.

Safety’s Rewards

The American Hospital Association has honored The Johns Hopkins Hospital with one of its prestigious Quest for Quality prizes, in recognition for excellence in its patient safety efforts. JHH was one of four finalists out of a field of 70 and one of only three to earn a cash award. The awards, supported by grants from health-care giant McKesson, were created to encourage innovative patient safety programs that can be replicated. JHH was recognized for strong leadership and innovation in quality and safety. Lori Paine, patient safety coordinator, oversaw the arduous application process. “I was delighted that we really had something to talk about.” The $12,500 prize will be used to further patient safety initiatives.



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