Special Advertising Section
RFID, Barcoding, RTLS: The Connected Hospital
Whether your facility is 40 years old or 4 months old, advances in technology can help increase patient and staff safety while improving efficiency. Tracking people and things throughout the building, monitoring care and medication, and assuring accurate patient identification are all enhanced by technology. Innovations are coming that can make the Connected Hospital a reality.
New Joint Commission Alert Addresses Medical Device Alarm Safety in Hospitals
The constant beeping of alarms and an overabundance of information transmitted by medical devices such as ventilators, blood pressure monitors and ECG (electrocardiogram) machines is creating “alarm fatigue” that puts hospital patients at serious risk, according to a Sentinel Event Alert issued by The Joint Commission in April.
Seven Years, Zero CLABSIs: How a California Hospital Did It
By Alan Reder, MA
Joint Commission executives Mark Chassin, MD, FACP, and Jerod Loeb, PhD, have an uncomfortable question for hospitals: If airlines and chemical plants can maintain superb safety records despite huge potential hazards, why can’t you?
MITSS: Supporting Patients and Families for More than a Decade
Over the past decade, the patient safety movement has focused much of its attention on prevention, and rightly so. Still, even in the safest of systems, things can, and often do, go wrong. Of late, much has been published regarding the “second victim,” a term used to describe healthcare providers finding themselves on the sharp end of an error or adverse event. Yet, little has been documented about the emotional impact on patients and their families and the need for support following these events.
Addressing Alarm Problems in the Emergency Department
Stand for a few moments in the middle of your emergency department (ED) to just listen and observe. How many alarms do you hear? Can you distinguish where each alarm is coming from and whether it’s a physiologic monitor or ventilator or infusion pump alarm? Does each alarm connote the level of urgency needed for the nurse to respond promptly and appropriately? Do you observe nurses scurrying to respond? Or do the alarms perpetuate while no one responds?
Health IT & Quality
American Autos Circa 1970 and Healthcare
The Ford Pinto was a really terrible car. The gas tank was positioned such that, in a collision, protruding differential bolts would puncture the tank, leading to frequent car fires. This defect led to the death of more than 27 people and many others maimed. Other cars representative of this defect-filled era of U.S. auto manufacture include the Ford Fairmont, AMC Gremlin, and Chevy Vega. Cars made in the United States in the 1970s and 1980s were poorly designed, cheaply assembled, and reliably unreliable.
Change of Scenery: Just What the Doctor Ordered
Being hospitalized should not necessarily preclude a patient from going outdoors independently, that is, without the assistance or supervision of a healthcare staff member. Nonetheless, reconciling the need to ensure patient safety with the patient’s desire to enjoy the therapeutic benefit of being off the unit and outdoors can create conflict for patients and healthcare providers.
CUSP: Scaling Up a Safety Framework
In the 13 years since the Institute of Medicine (IOM) issued its clarion call exposing major deficiencies in U.S. healthcare (2000), improving patient safety has been a foremost goal within our system. Providers, purchasers, consumers, payers, regulators, and other stakeholders have worked tirelessly together to formulate strategies to reduce needless harms (including needless deaths) resulting from care.
Diagnostic errors (i.e., diagnoses that are delayed, wrong, or missed) are increasingly recognized as a patient safety concern in ambulatory care (Singh & Graber, 2010). A recent report from the American Medical Association (AMA) Center for Patient Safety (Lorincz et al., 2011) highlighted the importance of diagnostic error and the critical need for future research on this topic.