March 6-12, 2022 is recognized at National Patient Safety Awareness Week. Patient Safety Awareness Week is an annual recognition event intended to encourage everyone to learn more about health care safety. During this week, the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI), seeks to advance important discussions locally and globally, and inspire action to improve the safety of the health care system — for patients and the workforce. Patient Safety Awareness Week serves as a dedicated time and platform for growing awareness about patient safety and recognizing the work already being done.
Memorial Hospital's Patient Safety Committee meets monthly to collaboratively and proactively maintain a safe environment for our patients and employees. Each member supports our goal of providing the safest possible care to patients. Our committee members are engaged and arrive prepared and ready to report updates or accept new topics to research for our safety program.
Memorial makes improving patient safety an ongoing priority throughout the hospital. A few recent examples include...
Fall Prevention Program
Memorial has implemented a patient fall management program that has proven to be successful in reducing patients' risk of falls. Part of this plan includes new monitoring systems and an overhead lift in our newly remodeled Medical Surgical Unit. Care teams review fall risk protocols and participate in training regularly to ensure they can provide a safe healing environment for our patients and keep themselves safe from injury.
Other safety features have been added in the past that include "Smart Pumps" and bar code medication scanning. The "Smart Pumps" help monitor and control the infusion medication administration concentration and does rates and alert clinicians of potential under and over doses of fluids and drugs. Through the barcode scanning system, nurses perform bedside medication verification via the patients' bracelets before administration of medications. This process helps maintain safe medication administration practices.
The Memorial Diagnostic Imaging department continues to improve their patient safety. In 2020 they add the Arms-Up CT Positioner to their department which improves patient safety and comfort during imaging. Recently there have been technology updates in the Diagnostic Imaging Department, which strives to offer the latest and most up to date technology for patient safety and diagnosis. Staff cross train and/or seek to obtain subspecialized credentials so they can provide the highest quality and safest patient care.
Cardiopulmonary & Nuclear Medicine
The most recent improvement to patient safety at Memorial has been the relocation of our Cardiopulmonary and Nuclear Medicine Department to the main floor level. The new location, keeps patients from having to use stairs/elevators and having to walk the distance to the old location on the lower level This improves accessibility for our patients, making their visits easier and less stressful. Our critical staff members are also, now closer to the in-patients and ER, so it takes less time for response when minutes count.
These are just some of the improvements we are making at Memorial Hospital to ensure safe, quality care for our patients. Our ongoing renovations focus on providing the best convenience, technology, and workflow for our patients and staff. When patients are in our care, we want to ensure that they have the best opportunity for healing and ensuring patient and staff safety during medical visits and procedures helps us meet that goal.