National Patient Safety Goals
Dedication to Achieving National Patient Safety Goals
Abington Memorial Hospital is dedicated to meeting goals for patient safety and quality set by national accrediting agencies.
Joint Commission National Patient Safety Goals and National Quality Improvement Goals
Abington Memorial Hospital meets all applicable standards set by the Joint Commission, a national hospital accrediting organization. According to the Joint Commission's 2006 Safety Goals for Hospitals, organizations should:
- Improve the accuracy of patient identification.
- Use at least two patient identifiers (neither to be the patient's room number) whenever administering medications or blood products, taking blood samples and other specimens for clinical testing, or providing any other treatments or procedures. Our staff is trained to always check each patient's name and date of birth before providing any of these services... as well as labeling containers for blood and other specimens in the presence of the patient.
- Improve the effectiveness of communication among caregivers. To improve communication, nursing staffs and others conduct group briefings that cover each patient at the beginning of each shift. We also encourage staff throughout the hospital to briefly huddle up to communicate changing circumstances, such as a change in a patient's condition or a temporary computer malfunction, so everyone is alerted about how such occurrences can affect workflow and responsibilities. Our staff also regularly engages in debriefing review sessions after events have occurred to discuss how we can improve the way we do things.
- For verbal or telephone orders or for telephonic reporting of critical test results, verify the complete order or test result by having the person receiving the order or test result "read-back" the complete order or test result. When receiving critical test results and verbal/phone orders, our staff is trained to: Write it down... Read it back... Confirm.
- Standardize a list of abbreviations, acronyms and symbols that are not to be used throughout the organization. Examples include: using "Daily" instead of "QD;" "Units" instead of "U;" "1" instead of "1.0;" and "Morphine Sulfate" instead of "MSO4."
- Measure, assess and, if appropriate, take action to improve the timeliness of reporting, and the timeliness of receipt by the responsible licensed caregiver, of critical test results and values.
- Implement a standardized approach to "hand off" communications, including an opportunity to ask and respond to questions. When the care of a patient is being turned over or handed off to someone else, our staff members are also trained to pass on up-to-date and relevant information.
- Improve the safety of using medications. We're dedicated to reducing the risk of medication errors.
- Standardize and limit the number of drug concentrations available in the organization.
- Identify and, at a minimum, annually review a list of look-alike/sound-alike drugs used in the organization, and take action to prevent errors involving the interchange of these drugs.
- Label all medications, medication containers (e.g., syringes, medicine cups, basins), or other solutions on and off the sterile field in perioperative and other procedural settings.
- Reduce the risk of health care-associated infections. We are dedicated to infection prevention.
- Comply with current Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) hand hygiene guidelines. Our staff members are trained to wash their hands before and after leaving each patient's room. They are trained to use either an alcohol hand rinse to cover all surfaces of their hands and fingers and allow it to dry, or to wash their hands with soap and water as thoroughly as possible using friction for at least 15 seconds.
- Manage as sentinel events all identified cases of unanticipated death or major permanent loss of function associated with a health care-associated infection.
- Accurately and completely reconcile medications across the continuum of care. AMH's reconciliation process includes five steps:
- Develop a complete and accurate list of medications.
- Compare and reconcile.
- Repeat process when medication changes are made or during transitions in care.
- Communicate the list.
- Provide the patient a list at discharge.
- Implement a process for obtaining and documenting a complete list of the patient's current medications upon the patient's admission to the organization and with the involvement of the patient. This process includes a comparison of the medications the organization provides to those on the list.
- A complete list of the patient's medications is communicated to the next provider of service when a patient is referred or transferred to another setting, service, practitioner or level of care within or outside the organization. A complete list of medications is part of our standardized procedure for handing off a patient to another caregiver. Through SCM all staff members have up-to-date information relative to medication lists and administration histories.
- Reduce the risk of patient harm resulting from falls. Taking a proactive approach, we educate patients and families in fall prevention.
- Implement a fall reduction program and evaluate the effectiveness of the program.
- Universal Protocol: Beginning July 1, 2004, the Universal Protocol for preventing wrong-site, wrong-procedure and wrong-person surgery became effective.