Efforts to include patients and family members in reporting safety issues don’t always work, as the staff at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute in Boston recently discovered.
The hospital launched a webpage encouraging people to report concerns, but spokesperson Ellen Berlin says there were very few reports.
“It turns out we didn’t have much success with the program,” she says. “We are not really sure why, but patients didn’t respond. We suspect that our patients have a lot going on and this wasn’t top of mind for them, nor was it the best way to collect the information. We do hear from patients when they are here, but we learned this system wasn’t the best way to reach them.”
The form is still available on the hospital’s website at http://bit.ly/2dllHpj, but Berlin says they do not expect any increase in participation.
The Patient Safety Reporting Form states, “Patient safety is a top priority at Dana-Farber. While your care team takes responsibility for ensuring your safe care, we’ve found that patients and their families can teach us things that we didn’t know. This helps us create the safest possible care.”
The form continues, “You may have ideas about things we can do to improve patient safety. If you have experienced something that seemed risky or caused you harm, or if you noticed something that you think is unsafe, we want to hear about it.” It also notes that the reports are confidential and explains that, even if a staff member has already reported the concern, the patient or family member may have a different viewpoint, noticed other details, or have suggestions for improvement.
- Ellen Berlin, Director of Media Relations, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston. Telephone: (617) 632-5357. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.