News: Michigan Hospitals Benefit from Patient Safety Immersion Initiative

The program helps providers build the foundational skills necessary to lead change for safer care.

The Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Keystone Center is one of 26 organizations nationally selected as a Partnership for Patients (PfP) Hospital Engagement Network (HEN) to work with hospitals and healthcare providers to identify, share, and implement proven and reliable best-practices to reduce nine hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) by 40 percent and hospital readmissions by 20 percent by the end of 2014, as compared to 2010. Established in December 2011, the MHA Keystone HEN builds on the work that has proven successful in Michigan and reinforces and complements the MHA’s ongoing patient safety and quality improvement efforts. (For more background on the HEN program, see “HENs Help Hospitals Spread What They Already Know” in the January/February 2013 issue of PSQH,

The MHA Keystone HEN includes nearly 100 hospitals, widely distributed throughout Michigan, and has provided training for hospital staff, helped its member hospitals collaborate and learn from each other, and continues to seek new ways to enhance patient safety in the network.

In alignment with this aim, the MHA partnered with the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) to offer an innovative patient safety immersion program. The goal of this offering was to assist providers in building the foundational skills necessary to lead change for safer care. All levels of staff were encouraged to enroll as these resources are applicable for any individual involved with safety and quality improvement initiatives. Those currently engaged in the program range from chief nursing officers to quality directors to front-line care providers. The Patient Safety Immersion Initiative is a three-part, comprehensive program focusing on patient safety education, community, and professional advancement, incorporating the NPSF Online Patient Safety Curriculum, membership in the American Society of Professionals in Patient Safety, and the Certification for Professionals in Patient Safety credentialing exam.

MHA Keystone Center

Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Partnership for Patients,
including Hospital Engagement Networks

National Patient Safety Foundation

NPSF Online Patient Safety 

The NPSF Patient Safety Curriculum is a self-paced, online, 10-module course featuring lectures from healthcare leaders and visionaries and providing continuing education and continuing medical education credit. The goals of the program are to:

  • Deliver foundational patient safety resources to achieve safety goals/
  • Grow patient safety expertise and build bench strength
  • Create shared foundation of patient safety knowledge
  • Support an environment of engagement and sustainability
  • Integrate patient safety across disciplines as a fundamental tenet 
and competency
  • Engage leadership and front-line teams

The curriculum is intended to equip the learner with the foundational knowledge necessary to understand the context, key principles, and competencies associated with the discipline of patient safety, and how these tenets and skills are applied in everyday practice. It takes the learner through the history of the patient safety movement, describes the science and disciplines used in this work, presents current best practices and outlines strategies for overcoming barriers to safe care. The curriculum modules are aligned with educational standards for patient safety competencies and are anchored by didactic audio/PowerPoint lectures. The modules also include reading materials, videos, and module quizzes to focus learners on key patient safety principles. This knowledge is imperative for those working in, or in partnership with, today’s healthcare system.

American Society of Professionals in Patient Safety (ASPPS)

ASPPS is a multidisciplinary, individual membership society established to advance patient safety as a distinct and vital healthcare discipline and to build an engaged, broad-based community dedicated to the delivery of safe patient care.

Certification for Professionals in Patient Safety (CPPS)

CPPS is an evidence-based credentialing exam that validates a high level of patient safety proficiency for individuals across organizations participating in the Initiative. The CPPS examination tests an individual’s patient safety expertise and application of knowledge related to six key domains: culture, leadership, risk identification and analysis, data management and analysis, mitigating risk through systems thinking and design and human factors analysis, and external influences on patient safety.

More than 150 healthcare professionals are engaged in the Patient Safety Immersion Initiative through the MHA Keystone HEN. “The National Patient Safety Foundation Curriculum was very valuable to our organization,” says Dana Garafalo, RN, BSN, CIC, CPPS, quality manager, MidMichigan Medical Center – Clare and Gladwin. “The curriculum is well organized and provides both evidenced-based research and practical implementation techniques.” The MHA Keystone Center expects this program to help build internal capacity to lead the numerous quality improvement initiatives that hospital teams work on each day. Garafalo affirmed, “This self-study curriculum provides insight into the foundation of patient safety and relevant application strategies.”

Now in its third year, the MHA Keystone HEN remains dedicated to the goal of continuous safety and quality improvement despite the pressures they share with many of the nation’s hospitals from the current economic situation and the pace of change amidst healthcare reform.