Our Stories: Know me, heal me, keep me safe.

Our patients want this, expect this, and value us when we do this. Here are just a few of their comments:

  • “I cannot complain about the nurses or doctors. I felt safe, was scared, and they listened, they cared.”
  • “I have always felt that I have a whole team on my side. These people are caring, polite, respectful, and professional. I feel safe and cared for.”
  • “The team of doctors in charge of my care, tests, etc. were awesome. I felt safe, secure, and knew they were doing everything they could to help me get better—I was very sick.”
  • “Holly and Courtney on Labor and Delivery were absolutely wonderful. They tended to every need, were so encouraging, and made me feel safe and empowered.”
  • “Wonderful physician. I have complete confidence. The anesthetist was fun and put me at ease and his nurse was just as easy going, made me feel very safe.”
  • “The best care ever, felt safe.”
  • “Considering the circumstances, everyone was kind and respectful, we felt safe, and our questions were answered promptly and with compassion.”
  • “The teams of doctors, nurses, transporters, Housekeeping, PT, RT ALL made my family and I feel safe, cared for, and thought of. Everyone cares for the person not just the illness. Most of my time in the hospital was spent in RSCU. They are all top notch! My family and I are grateful for the care I received!”

Strong communication = strong patient safety

Quality, safety, and a positive patient experience go hand-in-hand. We focus every day, with every patient, on improving the patient experience by treating our patients as individual persons and on communicating effectively with them. This communication allows the patient to trust that we will heal them. This is what we do. We provide patient centered, high quality care. When there is opportunity to improve, we take it. We have a culture of continuous improvement. We, each of us, focus on being our best for our patients.

In the last year, we have done many things to improve the experience of our patients with the roll-out of Compassionate Connected Care (C3) training on 7JC, 4JP, 3RC, CVICU, and most recently on 6RC and in the Emergency Department. We are seeing results and are proud of the hard work being done here and on other units. We have had nine Physician/Provider Communication workshops (training about 80 physicians and APPs) focused on relationship centered communication tools. These have been well received with 75 percent of respondents stating they would recommend to a colleague, and so we are now finalizing a plan to train our physicians to facilitate these workshops and thus offer it to more providers.

Most of the time, safety is just a given. It is what we expect as caregivers, and what the patient expects. We have protocols and policies to guide us in providing safe care. Safety is obtained through having consistency of practice and common expectations. We use check lists, order sets, and good habits (i.e., hand hygiene) to maintain safety. Our systems, though, are essential for maintaining safety. Our systems must be designed to make us successful. We know through our Patient Safety Net (PSN) reports that the vast majority of safety events are a result of a breakdown in communication and thus a faltering of our systems. We receive about 60 PSNs per day. These are reviewed daily by the CQSPI staff and addressed through different mechanisms by severity/harm/harm potential. Local leaders review all on their units, and senior leaders receive a daily safety brief with those that may have broader institutional impact. In every field, safety must be a focus and health care is no exception. Our patients trust that we will keep them safe and we recognize that the basis of safety must always be communication.

Upcoming event: Patient Experience and Patient Safety

On October 18, at 6 p.m. in the East Room (Elevator F, Level 8), we will have a speaker from the American Association of Communication in Healthcare coming to discuss: Patient Experience and Patient Safety: A Discussion on How Integrated These Priorities Really Are. This will be a discussion about the positive association between the patient experience and safety. Effective communication results in an optimal patient experience. Patients tell us that when we communicate effectively, they not only have higher satisfaction, but they trust that we will keep them safe. Their perception is that our communication results in a safer environment. It is clear from published studies that communication positively impacts patient satisfaction and that increased patient satisfaction correlates with increased safety. Please join us for this important discussion.

Safety culture survey

Communication and safety are the basis of our recent survey. We want and need to hear your voice. This communication, the sharing our experiences and perceptions help us to improve our systems. This results in a safer environment for our patients and a more satisfying place to work. Without your input, we make assumptions and in a complex health care environment, we must base decisions on reality, on data. The survey took me just under 7 minutes, including addition of comments. I encourage you to make your voice heard. We are listening!!!

I am hopeful that when you read the comments above (just a few of the many positive comments we receive each and every day from our patients), that you feel a sense of pride in the job you do, and in the team you work with. These are our stories and I am proud to be a part of this team.

—Theresa Brennan, MD, Chief Medical Officer

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