If the problem is truly systemic, hospitals must approach their patient safety initiatives holistically and systemically, beginning with creating a patient safety culture.
FREMONT, CA: First and foremost, institutional patient safety begins at the top. This means that hospital leadership fosters a culture of patient safety rather than dictating rules for employees to follow.
It is critical to recognize the distinction. We are generally forced to follow the rules, and we do so grudgingly, taking every opportunity to break them. Culture is founded on belief, which serves as the foundation of our self-image and guides our actions and behaviors.
Culture is not easy to create or change. Still, a good place to start is for your hospital's leadership to embrace patient safety and provide positive reinforcement for behaviors that promote it.
Patient Safety Objectives
Goals, like any other aspect of performance enhancement, must be established. If you are unsure where to begin, I recommend reviewing the Joint Commission's 2018 National Patient Safety Goals.
This initiative aims to improve patient safety by outlining goals centered on healthcare safety issues and how to solve them. The objectives center on various areas, treatments, and procedures that could all be improved in patient safety. They are presented in such a way that they provide the Joint Commission's rationale for selecting them and the performance elements required to satisfy them. Meeting these objectives is critical for any hospital seeking Joint Commission accreditation.
With the rise of fee-for-service models, it is in your hospital's best interest to minimize risk and maximize patient safety for each admitted patient. By definition, a healthcare institution that strives to transform patient safety culture and set measurable and attainable patient safety goals strives for a better care experience.
As a result, these transformed hospitals will likely lower their 30-day readmission rate, boost employee morale, and establish themselves as world-class healthcare institutions. However, the greatest and most important benefit is the number of lives that will be saved.