“The answer is in the room,” McGann indicated while pointing out a few representatives from healthcare safety organizations, patient advocate groups and leadership from high-performing hospitals sitting in the conference room. “We bring the people that know how to do this together, have them show us their results and create networks.”
Representatives from several participating hospitals were on the panel, detailing the changes that took place at their centers.
“When we started, we really didn't like our results,” said Tammy Dye, MSN, vice president of clinical services at Schneck Medical Center, a 93-bed county hospital in Seymour, Ind. Leadership asked why the results were so unfavorable, she said, and they ultimately pointed the finger back at themselves.
“Every hospital gets the result that they are designed to get,” she said, adding that in a small hospital, even just one patient with a negative outcome can have a huge impact on the statistics. Schneck implemented systemwide changes, including having a process owner—one person in charge—for each of their quality and safety initiatives. They are now down to only 3% of all of their discharges being readmitted, she reported.
“It's the right thing to do for the patients; it's the right thing to do financially,” she said.
That sentiment was shared by patient advocates attending the session, including Knitasha Washington of the advocacy group Consumers Advancing Patient Safety.
“This is simply what patients expect,” she told the audience after sharing her own experience following the death of her father. She was one of many to second the PfP philosophy that “no patient wants to be at a hospital that is good at only preventing three harms.” Patients expect that leadership is working to eliminate all harms, and they also expect some sort of input into the process.
“There is a huge difference between patient engagement and authentically engaging patients,” Washington said. It's more than simply asking about “the color of the carpet and the walls,” she added, but rather asking patients what happened when a harm occurred, and including them on safety boards making change decisions.
Follow Sabriya Rice on Twitter: @MHSRice