April 27, 2007

Campaign reinforces patient safety

Featured Image

Campaign reinforces patient safety

Thirty Plexiglas displays that were recently mounted in high traffic areas of the Medical Center were stuffed for the first time the other day with posters aimed at reinforcing important medical safety messages to patients.

They show Teresa Simpson, R.N., of the Surgical ICU, at a patient's bedside, smiling while checking the patient's wristband ID.

The poster's brief written message tells patients what to expect at Vanderbilt in the way of routine patient ID checks prior to tests or medication.

The posters — some in Spanish — are presented by the recently formed Patient Safety Collaborative Committee.

“Besides helping coordinate patient safety efforts across the Medical Center, the new committee has set out an educational agenda,” said Drew Gaffney, M.D., chief quality and patient safety officer and associate dean for clinical affairs. “Eye-catching posters seemed like a good way to reinforce these important safety messages for our staff, physicians and patients.”

“Our campaign will focus on educating patients and families on how to become involved in their own health care, as well as working with staff to build a partnership with our patient community,” said Bobbie Dietz, associate director for patient safety with the Center for Clinic Improvement.

Dietz said the safety messages were developed with input from caregivers and the Patient and Family Advisory Committee.

Companion posters with messages aimed at staff and faculty will go up soon in lounges and restrooms, and as screen savers on clinical workstations.

This year, other posters in the series will deal with hand hygiene, prevention of patient falls, medication safety, the increasing emphasis on patient participation in health care, and the role communication plays in patient safety.

A slogan is to appear on each poster in the series: “Making Vanderbilt America's Safest Hospital.”

The Patient Safety Collaborative Committee includes representatives from Patient Safety, Risk Management, Crew Resource Management, Accreditation, Infection Control, Hospital Safety, the Learning Center, Patient/Family Centered Care and Occupational Health.