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Alabama Hospital Association

Lives Touched

Combining the knowledge of multiple staff members improves care, reduces duplication and enhances patient safety.  Many hospitals have begun daily safety huddles to bring together all types of patient care areas to discuss individual patient challenges and develop on-the-spot solutions.  Medical Center Barbour, a rural hospital in Eufaula, brings together a number of leaders at 9 a.m. every morning for 15 minutes. They discuss issues from the last 24 hours and plan ahead for the day.  Two hours later, physicians meet with case managers, quality staff and social services to discuss the care needed to speed recovery and avoid readmissions.  Collective problem solving at its best!

Top photo (l - r) - Susan Shelly, CDI/CM, Cathy Hodge, Quality Director/Risk Mgr., Tracy Scott, ER Director, Missy Thomas, Case Mgt., Sha Gallimore, MS/ICU Director, Katie Hopper, Infection Control, David McKnight, Radiology Director. Not pictured are Michele Waters, Swingbed/Geri-Psych Director, Kris-Ann McAliley, Lab Director Christy Moore, CNO, and Jennifer Bryan, Director of Education and Employee Health, Clinical IT Specialist.

Bottom photo (l - r) - Missy Thomas, Case Mgt., Cathy Hodge, Quality Director/Risk Mgr., (back) Susan Shelly, CDI/CM, Sha Gallimore, MS/ICU Director, Katie Hopper, Infection Control, Dr. Surber. Not pictured are Michele Waters, Swingbed/Geri-Psych Director, Cretia Cunningham, Social Worker, and Bryan Allen, DNP

Other Patient Safety Stories:

Last year, staff members in Progressive Home Care at Monroe County Hospital in Monroeville, AL, cut in half the number of times patients with heart failure had to be readmitted to their facility.  After finding that heart failure patients were being readmitted at a higher rate than other patients, the hospital identified the factors leading to repeat admissions and worked diligently to avoid them.  This included doing three in-home visits after patients were discharged, doing extensive education with patients and their families and ensuring patients were taking the appropriate medications.  It’s a great example of how hospitals can provide tools to patients and their families to help keep them well and avoid another trip to the emergency room!

USA Medical Center staff in Mobile are sporting patient armbands this week to highlight the importance of patient identification in ensuring safety.  In addition to the armbands, the hospital developed a patient safety crossword puzzle that includes tips on fire safety, infection control and other key safety practices.  Finally, educational displays, including posters, banners and other resources, were strategically placed in high-traffic areas to remind staff members of ways they can improve care and make it safer for patients.

Children at BayPointe Hospital, a freestanding psychiatric hospital in Mobile, can take out their aggression in a healthy way thanks to a program called Ukeru, a restraint-free crisis management technique.   The outpatient day program uses careful staff supervision and a safe pad to allow children to take out their frustration on the pad and not on staff or other patients or their peers.  Typically, after using the pad, along with counseling that understands and responds to the effects of all types of trauma, patients are able to calm down and return to regular activities.  The use of restraints has been cut by 39 percent in one year thanks to the program.

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