A 42 percent reduction in patient harm over three years is "phenomenal" and something to be celebrated, says Kate Betancourt, R.N., director, performance improvement at MidState Medical Center, Meriden, Conn.
"But if that's my father … who suffers a preventable event or harm, it's not good enough. So really, we should be on a journey to zero harm," she adds.
Betancourt is just one of several passionate advocates for patient safety profiled in a new set of videos highlighting achievements made by hospitals in the Health Research & Educational Trust Hospital Engagement Network.
Between 2011 and 2014, organizations participating in the HRET HEN prevented more than 92,000 harms and saved the health care system $988 million. The HEN project was initiated by the Department of Health & Human Services in 2011 and included 26 networks nationwide. Earlier this week, HHS issued a request for proposal for a second round of HEN projects. Proposals are due by March 30.
Much like the series H&HN produced in conjunction with HRET, the latest videos showcase best practices for continuous improvement and reducing patient harm.
For instance, at Lexington (Neb.) Regional Health Center, front-line staff meet regularly to iron out hurdles to patient safety; it's not just managers lecturing about various measures and processes.
"It's the person doing the work, and if she says, 'You know what, this is where we are struggling with medication reconciliation,' the pharmacist is sitting right next to her at the table and can say, 'I can do this and this to help in that process.' It's really been beneficial to have those conversations," says Dana Steiner, R.N., executive director of patient services at the 25-bed hospital.
And how else did the HEN project help?
By fostering a culture of transparency, Steven Hanks, vice president of medical affairs at MidState Medical Center, says in the video.
"Sunlight is the best disinfectant," he adds.