Patient Safety Initiatives at Kaweah Delta
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Kaweah Delta focuses on the continuous improvement of safety for all patients,
visitors and employees.
We are committed to a just culture of safety in which employees are encouraged
to speak up when they or others make mistakes, allowing us the opportunity
to improve the care we deliver and prevent potential errors.
Patient Safety Heroes of the Year Award
Lorena Perez, CMSRN, and Amanda Silva, MSW, ASW
(Pictured: Lorena Perez (left), and Amanda Silva (right))
For their work to improve the quality and safety of care at Kaweah Delta
and potentially save lives, Lorena Perez, CMSRN, and Amanda Silva, MSW,
ASW, were named Kaweah Delta’s Patient Safety Heroes of the Year
on Friday, March 22, in front of more than 300 leaders at Kaweah Delta’s
fifth annual Patient Safety Symposium at the Visalia Convention Center.
Perez and Silva were nominated for the Patient Safety Hero of the Year
Award for doing just that. Both identified opportunities in their departments
to improve the quality of patient care and safety and tied for the award,
which is only in its second year at Kaweah Delta.
Perez, an RN working with dialysis patients, clarified a breakdown in communication
on her unit that was potentially life-saving for patients, while Silva
took it upon herself to create a process to improve communication with
child welfare services to protect children.
This is a great example on how every voice counts when it comes to patient
safety! Congratulations Lorena and Amanda for your well-deserved recognition!
DUDE (Hospital Staff Hand Hygiene Awareness Program)
D.U.D.E is a Kaweah employee and physician program which reinforces, educates
and creates awareness of infection prevention best practices, such as
hand hygiene and equipment cleaning.
D.U.D.E stands for Do U Disinfect Every time, and it serves as a friendly reminder to each other on these practices.
This is an important piece of our strong infection prevention program
and helps to keep our patient safe from infection.
Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program (CUSP)
Our 18 CUSP safety teams, led by Kaweah Delta staff, nurses, and pharmacists,
meet monthly in partnership with our doctors to solve patient safety issues
that they, our front-line staff, have identified. The CUSP program at
KDHCD started in 2012 and is modeled after the CUSP program at Johns Hopkins
Hospital who founded the concept of CUSP. We value the wisdom of our front-line
staff and providers and established this program to give them a way to
work on their patient safety concerns with the support of KDHCD executive
leadership who attend all CUSP meetings.
To learn more about the CUSP Program, click
Good Catch Award
Every month one KDHCD staff member or provider who showed their commitment
to patient safety by speaking up and acting to prevent a possible error
receives a Good Catch Award. KDHCD encourages nominations for the Good
Catch Award for system or process safety improvements that were made to
prevent near misses from reaching patients.
It is because of actions taken every day by dedicated professionals like
the Good Catch Award honorees that KDHCD can continuously improve patient safety.
Medical Team Training
Kaweah Delta uses TeamSTEPPS© to improve how our teams work together
to ensure patient safety. We have several trained TeamSTEPPS© coaches
who are experts in this medical team training program endorsed by the
federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
One good example of TeamSTEPPS© at Kaweah Delta is our practice of
“Safety Huddles” every shift on each patient care unit where
the care team talks about potential high risk patient safety concerns.
Another good example is the use of the TeamSTEPPS© acronym “CUS”.
Each letter of CUS stands for a phrase that we encourage all staff and
providers to use between each other when they have a serious patient safety
concern. When we hear the CUS phrases we stop and listen closely, we encourage
all staff and providers to speak up!
To learn more about the TeamSTEPPS© program click
Falls Prevention Program
Reducing patient falls and the risk of harm resulting from falls is one key
part in KDHCD’s patient safety program. Kaweah Delta has a fall-reduction
program that provides guidelines for everyone involved in the care of
patients at all Kaweah Delta locations. The fall-reduction program includes
patient evaluation, interventions, staff education and training, patient
education and outcomes assessment. Kaweah Delta Hospital has significantly
improved patient fall rates since 2012 and has been well below the national
average since January 2017.
While our nurses get advanced fall prevention training, all staff at Kaweah
Delta are responsible to prevent patient falls in the hospital. We train
all Kaweah staff that may enter a patient’s room to look for common
problems that put our patients at risk for a fall using the SPLAT acronym.
Patients at Kaweah Delta Hospital are asked to sign a “Partnership
Agreement” when they come into the hospital, we work together to
keep patients safe from falls!
Flu Vaccine Program
Each year, Kaweah Delta offers all employees and doctors an influenza immunization
in an effort to protect its employees, patients and visitors against the disease.
The best way to protect against infection is clean hands. It is important
for healthcare employees to follow hand hygiene guidelines.
When you clean your hands, you reduce the chances of spreading germs from
one patient to another. In fact, Kaweah Delta is part of a growing number
of hospitals that monitor hand hygiene among employees. This ongoing project
is part of a comprehensive program to keep patients safe. Look for alcohol-based
hand sanitizers around our facilities to protect the health of patients,
visitors and employees.
To learn more about hand hygiene, click
National Patient Safety Goals
Part of Kaweah Delta’s success is measured by meeting the National
Patient Safety Goals defined by the Joint Commission, a national healthcare
The goals are designed to ensure accredited hospitals are affording patients
the best care possible. medication safety measure, following hand hygiene
guidelines and preventing errors in surgery are examples of these goals.
To learn more about National Patient Safety Goals, click
Safety Event Reporting System
Kaweah Delta’s online Safety Event Reporting System allows any employee
or provider to report a near miss, process problem, or a patient event.
An event is anything that occurs in the hospital or an outpatient area
that caused or has the potential to cause a medical error or injury.
Kaweah Delta employees and providers are encouraged to report events even
if they did not cause harm to the patient. Reporting of "near misses"
provides an opportunity for us to identify flaws in the system and to
implement changes before they impact the patient. As always, ensuring
our patients’ safety is an essential part of our commitment to putting
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