April 02, 2009 | | Comments 1
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Patient safety: What is your definition?

What is patient safety? Is it a philosophy, a metric, a program? Similar to accountability and just culture, many healthcare organizations are struggling to translate these commonly used buzz words and popular patient safety initiatives into behaviors and beliefs that are important and therefore practiced at the bedside.

Patient safety means something to all levels of the organization that I believe should start at the bedside and work its way up. Patient safety is the beliefs, behaviors, norms, and environment where patient care can be provided error free, and where safety is placed ahead of all other priorities. The purpose of any patient safety initiative is to eliminate the error that contributes to the events that cause or have the potential to cause harm to our patients, or as a metric,  to eliminate serious safety events, never events, and avoidable sentinel events.

Healthcare organizations that have successfully reduced the number of avoidable patient safety events have followed a very comprehensive approach to culture change through human performance improvement and process improvement over a long period of time. However, they began their journey by first defining what patient safety is.

What is your organization’s definition of patient safety?

Editor’s note: Mary Beth Edmond, RN, MBA, senior nurse executive and certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at Juran Institute also contributed to this blog post.

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Filed Under: Hot topics

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Jonathan Flanders About the Author: Jonathan Flanders, MHSA, BSMT, MT (ASCP) is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at Juran Institute in Southbury, CT.

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  1. Patient safety: What is your definition?
    What is patient safety? Is it a philosophy, a metric, a program? Similar to accountability and just culture, many healthcare organizations are struggling to translate these commonly used buzz words and popular patient safety initiatives into behaviors and beliefs that are important and therefore practiced at the bedside.

    Patient safety means something to all levels of the organization that I believe should start at the bedside and work its way up. Patient safety is the beliefs, behaviors, norms, and environment where patient care can be provided error free, and where safety is placed ahead of all other priorities. The purpose of any patient safety initiative is to eliminate the error that contributes to the events that cause or have the potential to cause harm to our patients, or as a metric, to eliminate serious safety events, never events, and avoidable sentinel events.

    Healthcare organizations that have successfully reduced the number of avoidable patient safety events have followed a very comprehensive approach to culture change through human performance improvement and process improvement over a long period of time. However, they began their journey by first defining what patient safety is.

    What is your organization’s definition of patient safety?

    Editor’s note: Mary Beth Edmond, RN, MBA, senior nurse executive and certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at Juran Institute also contributed to this blog post.

    Entry InformationFiled Under: Hot topics

    Tags: patient care • Patient Safety • quality

    About the Author: Jonathan Flanders, MHSA, BSMT, MT (ASCP) is a certified Lean Six Sigma Black Belt at Juran Institute in Southbury, CT.

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