Discussing mistakes in its Safety Matters newsletter is only one way that Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston encourages patient safety.
In another effort, television screens across the hospital campus communicate safety messages to staff, patients, and visitors. In addition to slides displayed on the Community Connects screens, the screens also feature short videos as another way to call attention to safety topics, such as patient identification, patient safety, hand hygiene, and medical orders.
Brigham and Women’s also uses executive “WalkRounds” to enhance the culture of safety at the hospital and improve processes to make care safer for patients. These visits to patient care areas by hospital executives occur twice a month on different units or departments in the inpatient and ambulatory settings.
WalkRounds provide an opportunity for staff members to share their safety concerns directly with Brigham and Women’s executive leaders and the Patient Safety Team. WalkRounds help to reinforce patient safety as a priority at the hospital and increase awareness about patient safety issues. The goal is to obtain information from staff about issues that impact patient safety to help prioritize improvement efforts, explains Karen Fiumara, PharmD, director of Patient Safety at Brigham and Women’s. Patients often are included in the WalkRounds.
Executive WalkRounds allow for real-time feedback to leadership, Fiumara says. Discussions during WalkRound sessions have prompted several patient safety improvements, he notes. Examples include forming a “Spring Cleaning Team” to address concerns about equipment repair and maintenance and standardizing the way supplies are stocked on units.