Back when Outliers was youngbefore portable music and movie devices, and before automakers installed TV screens in the back seats of cars to help distract kids during long tripsthere was a game we played called I Spy. Our parents would point out a scene and tell us to name everything we could see, and we remember being delighted by the interaction.
In this age of high-tech initiatives to boost patient safety and quality, and myriad safety-training requirements for hospital staff, some providers turn to a low-techand funmethod to help increase awareness of what can go wrong in a patients room. The hospital room of horrors is designed like an I Spy game: Observe the room and name everything that is out of place or wrong with the picture.
Perry Memorial Hospital, Princeton, Ill., put together a room of horrors for their staff, with an idea that theyd have a few basic problems with the patient, a mannequin used in safety-training exercises, and some medical violations around the bed, says Celia Goers, director of care management services for the facility. But it just escalated the more we got into it.
More than 80 safety problemsfrom a bloody dressing left on the bed near the patients open wound to unsecured medical records left open for anyone to readwere present for 300 staff members to find during the one-day, voluntary exercise. A separate nonclinical room allowed nonmedical staff to find safety problems in an office, including wires sprawling all over and unlabeled items in a refrigerator.
The hospital, which has taken measures in the past few years to reduce the rates of patient falls, infections and medication errors, felt it accomplished its goal of making staff aware of the need to stay alert, Goers says. The key was making the exercise fun, she adds. You make it more fun, but somehow theyre still learning.