Via Christi Hospital Implements New Safety Program

By Felicia Lawrence

Published 04/11 2014 09:34PM

Updated 04/11 2014 10:09PM

PITTSBURG, KS.--- Via Christi Hospital is implementing a new safety program designed to increase communication amongst hospital staff. Hospital officials are working to enhance patients' safety by creating a more collaborative environment. Many of the new safety methods, patients won't see. However, they may notice staff communicating more, all designed to improve safety as a whole at the hospital.
"Instead of hoping that we get lucky and hoping that things stay safe, we look for something that might be a problem and identify it and fix it before it becomes a problem," said Janelle Wade, Director of Women's Services. 

Janelle Wade, director of Women's Services at Via Christi Hospital says their goal is to become an HRO.

"HRO stands for High Reliability Organization, and it is more focused on a safety of culture and being almost pre-occupied with failure. Almost what is similar to what the airline industries have done and what nuclear forces have done," said Wade. 

To obtain this status, Via Christi staff spend an increased amount of time discussing how to prevent dangerous scenarios, including a daily meeting to report safety issues.

"It's a very standardized way of presenting the problem that you have, and what your assessment is and any of the recommendations that you would want to resolve the problem," said Amy Renn, Director of Pediatrics Unit.

Another procedure staff have been implementing is bed-side reporting for when nurses change shifts from day to night.

"We go to the bed side and we talk about what the plan is, the plan of care is for the day. Any issues that we could potentially encounter, you know safety issues. So, just a way of making sure we are all on the same page," said Renn. 

Hospital staff have begun hourly checks on patients to decrease the risk of falling. Hands are washed before and after visiting a patient. Hospital officials say the goal is to be proactive and not reactive.

"I hope that this will improve the overall culture of safety that we are striving towards within our facility and it is the right thing to do for every patient," said Renn. 

Hospital staff are also working to increase collaborative efforts between the different departments in the hospital. They say having open lines of communication really can make the entire hospital safer. 

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