Big Team Reduces Risk For Smallest Patients
In children’s hospitals across America, as many as 35% of children experience some degree of harm from hospital error according to an article in the May 7, 2014 Journal of the American Medical Association
. Working toward a goal of 0%, MUSC Children’s Hospital continually rolls out risk-reducing initiatives, such as standardizing the handoffs from operating room teams to ICU teams, adjusting equipment to more safely deliver IV medications, and modifying Epic—the medical records database—to automatically encourage best practice.
Medical unit staff members are in prime position to spot potential problems, be they related to staffing, medication labeling, facilities, security, information technology, pharmacy, or institutional policy, and MUSC Children’s Hospital leaders want to hear in person what they have to say. Once a week, 10 to 15 representatives from operational areas and senior administration visit an inpatient unit, ICU, and clinic. “Safety Rounds” was initiated by David G. Bundy, M.D., MPH, Medical Director of Pediatric Quality and Safety. These efforts have unearthed issues both large (e.g., so-called Smart Pumps made administration of IV nutrition unnecessarily complex and error-prone) and small (e.g., electrical outlets were not properly located for monitors). Dr. Bundy states, “When it comes to generating ideas about how to make care safer, nothing compares to getting out on the units and hearing directly from those who actually deliver it.” Safety Rounds are also conducted in the Medical Center’s adult hospitals.
Above, W. Scott Russell, M.D., (holding clipboard), Associate Chief Medical Officer, MUSC Children’s Hospital, listens to Safety Rounds discussion.