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In our Quest for Patient Safety, Quality, and Service Excellence


Monthly Patient Safety, Quality, and Service Excellence updates from the Chief Medical Officer



Safety Warning: drainage tubes and suction machines

We’ve received staff questions about attaching a chest-tube drainage system to a Dornoch suction machine to evacuate the tubes prior to attaching the usual drainage system. Recent safety statements from the FDA and vacuum manufactures detailed the potential for causing hemorrhage and soft tissue, muscle, and vital organ damage—which can lead to serious injury or death. With this in mind, we should NOT attach high-flow/high-suction machines in the operating room to a patient drain. These devices are solely for evacuating fluid, gas, and smoke from the surgical field.


Patient Safety 

CLABSI reviews ongoing

Reviews were started in June to identify contributing factors of CLABSI on units experiencing an increase in CLABSI rates. Improvements such as “Swipe and Wipe,” new central line dressings, and other steps are being taken to prevent CLABSIs. Read more about CLABSI prevention.


“Stop the Line” for your patients

You must speak up and be heard if you notice a potential safety issue or activity that goes against safety policies. This is not optional but a duty of all employees to halt patient care activities that they believe are endangering patient safety. Stop the Line has saved the lives of patients. The policy outlines when you should stop the line, how to do it, and how to resolve the situation. Review the full Stop the Line policy.


Hand hygiene adherence

·         Aug. 16 to 22

·         Aug. 23 to 29

·         Aug. 30 to Sept. 5

·         Sept. 6 to 12


Service Excellence

Office of The Patient Experience newsletter

·         Service Star winner Betty Elder and all of the July nominees

·         Learn from patient comments, both positive and negative

·         Sign up for the October Service Excellence event at Carver-Hawkeye



Documentation opportunities in DNR patients

Many physicians fail to document acute respiratory failure, acute renal failure, or other legitimate clinical manifestations (e.g., malnutrition, hypoxia, or coma) in DNR or palliative patients. Read more.



·         Oct. 6: “Let’s Talk” Patient Safety forum, “When staff are asked to perform infrequently used skills – Safety implications for patients and staff”

·         Oct. 8: Making Advance Care Planning Personal, free half-day CME conference


News and awards