Building a Culture of Safety
While programs focusing on specific high risk populations are critical to quality and safety, the immense complexity of modern medical care demands we constantly pay attention to safety in our everyday work. For instance, in 2006, California Pacific nurses and doctors gave over 6.5 million doses of medication. We must assure that in each case, it was the right medication and the right dose to the right patient. To help promote this culture within our staff, we have created a series of key safety behaviors.
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Patient Safety Behaviors
The behavior of constantly observing both the environment and the people interacting with it for safe practices.
- Pay attention to detail
- Include all multi-disciplinary team members and patients
- Be proactive: anticipate potential risks
- Promote teamwork and group understanding
The practice of comprehensive vertical and horizontal communication of vital information.
- Ask clarifying questions: communication is interactive
- Include key components: specific to area and activity
- Focus on priority “need-to-know” information
- Make it a habit: use a standard approach every time
The practice of focusing on the task or person at hand and avoiding distractions.
- Be alert during high-risk moments (e.g., obtaining and administering medications, performing a procedure on a patient, entering information into a computer database, working around sensitive equipment, etc.)
The behavior of mutual support among team members that creates a safe environment to identify and correct safety risks.
- Both observers and operators benefit
- Mutual support implies "You are not alone – I’ve got your back!"