Between July 2010 and July 2012:
These remarkable successes can be attributed to the Hospital’s commitment to patient safety, which, says Michael Apkon, M.D., Ph.D., senior vice president and chief medical officer, “is the most basic promise we needed to make to our patients.”
CHOP’s comprehensive efforts to improve patient safety are incorporated within the Safe Keeping initiative, a key component of which included training every single Hospital employee on specific strategies that can help prevent errors. These safety behaviors for error prevention, as they’re called, quickly became part of every employee’s daily routine and led to significant improvements in safety.
Safety’s Biggest Supporters
In 2011, the Hospital started a peer-to-peer safety coaching program that has grown to include 150 coaches in both clinical and nonclinical areas. The coaches help reinforce safety behaviors by providing their colleagues with effective safety strategies and in-the-moment feedback about how to keep patients safe.
All safety coaches receive training on how to provide feedback in a supportive, nonjudgmental way — and that includes acknowledging successes as well as pointing out areas for improvement. “It’s not just about looking for things that are wrong. It’s primarily about finding things that are right,” says Jeanette Teets, R.N., M.S.N., manager of Patient Safety, who co-leads the Safety Coach program with Anne Mohan, R.N., Dr.N.P.(c), N.E.A.-B.C., director of Nursing Professional Practice and the Nursing and Patient Care Services Safety Officer.
And, in the end, it’s about doing what’s best for the patient. “Parents entrust their kids to our care,” Teets says. “We owe it to the family and the patient to deliver the best and safest care possible.”
Owen, 2, has had multiple surgeries, experienced many Hospital stays and currently sees more than 10 CHOP specialists. “We are so grateful for all the precautions people have taken to keep him safe,” says his mother, Sharon Estes. Here, surgeon Thane Blinman, M.D., explains an upcoming procedure to Owen’s parents.
Ashley Fortuna, B.S.N., who cared for Owen during one of his several stays in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, makes safety a priority for all her patients.
Owen and his family are at home in all of CHOP’s intensive care units, since he has been an inpatient in most of them. Sharon says: “Wherever we go, Owen receives such amazing, creative and safe care.”