Safety in Numbers
Patient safety coordinator Lori Paine and the Quest for Quality
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.
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.
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 (innovation.jhmi.edu).
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.
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.