Kathy Kilcourse, RN, CRRN scans a patient’s barcode bracelet after asking name and date of birth to confirm proper identification.
The second week in March is Patient Safety Awareness Week. Patient Safety Awareness Week is designed to stress the importance of patient safety to both health professionals and the general public.
“At Bacharach, patient safety is always a priority, and we pride ourselves on establishing tools and incorporating strategies to keep our patients safe,” said Olubola Sode, BSN, MSN-Ed, CNML, CRRN, Vice President of Patient Services and Chief Nursing Officer for Bacharach. “We work in an interdisciplinary manner to provide the highest level of safety to each individual patient.”
Utilizing recommendations from the Joint Commission’s National Patient Safety Goal, Sentinel Alerts, and Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), Bacharach develops patient safety initiatives and provides ongoing education and training for its staff. According to Olubola, here are some of the patient safety initiatives currently in place at Bacharach:
- Patient Identification and Medication Safety: Bacharach uses two patient identifiers (Name and Date of Birth) as well as barcode scanning of patient’s name bracelet and medication match before medication administration.
- Fall Precaution Program: On admission, patients are assessed for fall risks. Interventions are put in place depending on the patients’ needs –a room closer to the nurses’ station; bed, chair, and seat belt alarms for high impulsivity; keeping a patient within the nurse’s line of sight at all times with yellow fall-risk indicator tags on wheelchair to communicate fall risk and impulsivity to the team; and one-on-one observation if necessary.
- Alarm Safety: Staff members are engaged in ongoing education on timely response to alarms.
- White Boards: There is a white board in each patient’s room that details how the patient transfers, any diet restrictions, devices the patient uses to ambulate and other important information. This serves as an additional communication tool for the team and allows for patients to be assisted quickly and efficiently.
- Bedside Reporting: Our nurses engage in bedside reporting and shift change communication. This allows the nurse from the departing shift to communicate with the nurse from the incoming shift and include patients and their families in their care.
“Right now we are moving towards implementing a ‘No Pass Zone,’ which would allow any available staff member to respond to a patient’s call bell,” said Olubola. “Patient safety is a team effort and we continue to strive for ways to ensure that it is paramount by incorporating evidenced based practices and listening to our patients and their families.