Written by Lee Varner, BS EMS, EMT-P
Mike Wallace, EMS Captain, Central Jackson County Fire Protection District
Does this sound like your EMS service….
Your typical runs include calls for chest pain, shortness of breath, seizures, and even cardiac arrest. You run these calls day in and day out. You drop patients off at the hospital just in time to clear for another call.
At the end of the day, ask yourself these simple questions:
- Do you look back at the calls to determine how well your providers performed from the perspective of protocol compliance or customer service?
- Do you have performance benchmarks established, for example time to 12 lead or aspirin administration on chest pain patients?
- Do you know the percentage of survival for cardiac arrest patients in your community?
- Do you have a mechanism in place that allows for the self-reporting of events as they relate to medication errors, equipment malfunctions, or near misses?
If you answered yes to all of these questions, great job! However, some of you probably said no to most.
AHRQ has released a toolkit and orientation video specifically designed to guide hospitals in the use of improvement methods for Quality Indictors (QIs). While the focus is primarily on the 17 Patient Safety Indicators (PSIs) and the 28 Inpatient Quality Indicators (IQIs), the toolkit is a general guide to the application of improvement methods. Quality Leaders will benefit from the available resources within the toolkit, but senior leaders, data analysts, and others will find valuable content including benchmark comparisons and identification of coding and documentation issues that affect PSI and IQI rates.
The link between health care worker fatigue and patient safety is not unfamiliar. But have you assessed your organization to mitigate health-care worker fatigue-related risks? The Joint Commission suggests the following: a review of the work shift schedule with staff involvement; an assessment of high-risk processes and procedures (such as patient hand-offs); education on sleep hygiene (getting enough sleep and practicing good sleep habits that can impact sleep); and promotion of a safe culture through open communication about fatigue concerns as well as a focus on teamwork to support staff working extended hours. The result of these efforts can protect your patients from harm.
Read more about what you can do in Issue 48 of the The Joint Commission Sentinel Event Alert.
For more information, check out our links to several Communication & Teamwork Toolkits!
Interested in finding out what your safety culture is? Check out the Survey on Patient Safety Culture!
Posted in AHRQ, CLABSI/CAUTI, CUSP, CUSP/CLABSI, CUSP/Stop BSI, Healthcare Acquired Infections, Infection Control, Infection Prevention, Missouri CUSP/Stop BSI, Quality of Care Posted December 1, 2011
The MOCPS has been invited to lead a six-month course on the Comprehensive Unit-based Safety Program (CUSP) to over 70 Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICUs) located throughout 7 states. All participating NICUs have joined a national collaborative sponsored by the Health Research Educational Trust (HRET) to stop central-line associated blood stream infections (CLABSIs). Read More
Posted in Patient Safety, Prevention, Quality of Care Posted September 15, 2011
Research reveals a decrease in medication discrepancies may be possible if a pharmacist is included in the patient discharge planning with the internal medicine team.
What should the nurse-to-patient ratio be? It’s a continuing debate among nurses and hospitals: but who should decide? In a recent hospital investigation, the facility was cited for “times when as few as three nurses had to care for 30 medical-surgical patients.” In this article, the CNO and VP of Nursing for PinnacleHealth System comments on the situation. She tells how they resolved staffing to ensure safety and explains that “adequate nurse staffing and quality can be maintained, regardless of economic pressure.”
Posted in Falls, Patient Safety, Quality of Care Posted September 7, 2011
A review by the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) recognizes that falls are a leading cause of injuries to those over 65 years of age. However, the Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (JAAOS) contends that falls in a healthcare setting are unrealistically declared to be preventable since “many risk factors are not under the caregivers’ direct control…”