If you want to become a safer, more reliable health care provider: introduce
“Patient safety has always been of top concern in the healthcare industry, but we have yet to produce measurable improvements as a whole.”
Technology has significantly changed the way we are able to provide care to our patients, and that means hospitals and clinics need to adapt their processes to meet those expectations.
“The truth is that most hospitals don’t know HOW to create digital processes on a system-wide scale.”
Let’s take a quick look at what is needed to create a reliable healthcare environment.
The Four Main Components of High Reliability in Healthcare
High reliability is an absolute must in healthcare today. Providing safer care is about utilizing technology to perform the same processes as before, but with more efficient and safer outcomes.
“Healthcare workers and staff are committed to providing exceptional care, give them the tools to succeed, and your hospital automatically becomes safer and more reliable.”
The human elements:
Teamwork in healthcare has long been touted as an essential component to delivering good health care to patients. It has been proven that teamwork reduces medical errors and increases patient safety.[i]
Much has been written about teamwork in healthcare, so we’ll just leave you with a few resources should you wish to investigate the topic further: AHRQ’s TeamSTEPPS, Patient Safety Network, FierceHealthcare.
2. A culture of safety
The concept of high reliability is the acknowledgment and thus commitment to safety
A culture of safety in healthcare requires a few distinct aspects: 1) understanding the high-risk nature and committing to consistently safe operations, 2) the endorsement of reporting of errors without worry of reprimand, 3) collaboration among typically silo-ed departments to find innovative solutions to safety problems and 4) an ongoing organizational commitment to allocating resources for safety improvements.[ii]
Like teamwork, a culture of safety in healthcare is a well-documented subject; here are a few resources to get you started: Patient Safety Network, IHI’s What is a Culture of Safety?, IHI’s Develop a Culture of Safety.
The technology elements:
3. Electronic Health Record (EHR)The electronic health record is the digital version of a patient’s medical history, with the ultimate goal of providing better care.[iii] This was the first major technological improvement towards automating and streamlining better patient care. Now that the industry has a well-established relationship with this technology, it is time to take the next major technological step towards becoming
4. Performance Improvement
The ultimate goal of performance improvement is the corresponding reduction in medical errors.[iv] Hospitals are best intentioned with their improvement efforts, but ever wonder why it’s so difficult to achieve
We’ve seen hospitals struggle to implement PI initiatives from scratch, with limited internal expertise. To get the help you need with your performance improvement goals, you should partner with a PI solution-oriented company that understands the complexities of highly reliable healthcare organizations.