While many hospitals’ safety initiatives fail to produce quantifiable, long-term results, CUSP can lead to sustained improvement because caregivers see that they can play a role in safety, and they recognize that they have organizational support to bring about change. The program has been successful for several reasons.
- It focuses on culture. To fix a problem in safety, you can’t simply hand caregivers a checklist or write a new policy. You need a community of health care professionals who are willing to embrace new practices and roles, and who understand why making these changes is important to safety. CUSP provides a structure to help change the workplace culture that can make or break your efforts.
- It integrates safety practices into daily work. Safety becomes embedded into the fabric of the unit and ceases to become an “extra” initiative with which staff must comply.
- It translates. CUSP works across the health care world, regardless of region, language spoken or type of health care organization. That’s because its core principles—that errors are most often the result of broken systems, and that culture is linked to the quality of care—are common wherever you go.
- It has easier buy-in. When a CUSP unit decides to take on a project, caregivers are more likely to become engaged in the effort because the initiative comes from them. CUSP embraces the wisdom of the frontline caregivers in identifying safety issues and working to resolve them.
- It brings accountability. CUSP provides a structure for your unit staff to measure their progress on different outcomes, to recognize their successes, and hold themselves responsible for improvements.
- It keeps leaders grounded. Executives need to understand how budgets, staffing and organizational structure all have an impact on the level of safety. Working with a unit gives them first-hand knowledge of those barriers, and helps inform their decisions.