At Main Line Health, patient safety leads our list of core values. It is deeply embedded in our culture, and reflected in everything we say and do.
To ensure that patient safety remains top of mind for every member of our health care team every day, we have created a workplace that promotes a reliable culture of safety, where shared behaviors, practices, and processes support a safe and risk-free environment for patients, family and staff. We continually evaluate our systems—and our resulting safety record—and introduce best practices and process improvements on an ongoing basis.
Every member of our team—more than 10,000 clinical and non-clinical personnel—has received extensive patient safety training , and our leaders demonstrate their passion for safety by strongly promoting quality and safety programs on each of the Main Line Health campuses.
Safety in action
As a patient at a Main Line Health facility, you can be confident that our top priority is your safety, health and wellbeing. We constantly seek new and better ways to provide the highest possible quality care to each of our patients. Below are just a few of the safety and quality programs and processes that we have implemented in recent months to help us deliver on this commitment.
100 percent flu vaccination compliance
Beginning in 2011, Main Line Health instituted a mandatory Flu Vaccination Policy for all physicians, employees, and contracting parties working at our facilities. In fact, receiving an annual flu shot is considered a condition of employment. We believe it is our responsibility to keep our patients safe from preventable infections, and by reducing the possibility of flu infections, we put our beliefs into action.
Improving processes for patient care safety
At the cornerstone of creating a safe environment for our patients is the ability to adhere to repeatable practices and processes that have safe, proven outcomes. Main Line Health uses process improvement tools such as Six Sigma and Lean methodologies to identify the best practices for specific procedures and processes that can be measured with specific targets and outcomes. An example of system-wide process improvement efforts includes the implementation of specific care delivery “bundles” that define actions to be taken by the clinical team – “Every time, for Every patient.” Bundles have been implemented for a number of care processes, such as: Ventilator care to reduce the risk of Ventilator Assisted Pneumonia (VAP); Standard precautions to reduce the number of Blood Stream Infections (BSI), implementation of Nurse Driven Foley Catheter removal protocols to effectively manage the risk of urinary tract infections as a result of extended catheter insertion; and a pressure ulcer bundle to reduce the number of hospital acquired pressure sores.
Process improvement and the implementation of commonly managed care bundles are just some of the ways in which Main Line Health seeks to create a safe and caring environment for patients. By reducing known potentials for risks, as well as closing the potential for gaps on handoffs and communication among staff, Main Line Health is building a reliable culture of safety for our patients and staff.
Controlling device-related infections
When a “foreign device” is introduced to a patient—whether it is a central line to deliver medicine intravenously, a urinary catheter, or a ventilator that allows a patient to breathe—there is an inherent risk of infection. To protect patients from preventable harm, Main Line Health has established numerous systems and protocols proven to significantly reduce the risk of device-related infections. Our state-of-the-art electronic monitoring system prompts rounding physicians to evaluate—on a daily basis—the need for the continued use of any device. And our ongoing training and awareness programs keep patient safety top of mind for every member of our health care team.
Controlling surgical site infections
While Main Line Health practices numerous internal protocols to prevent surgical site infections, we have also engaged our patients in their own pre-surgery preparedness. This includes:
- advance blood work to test for—and work together to adjust— elevated glucose levels that can increase a patient’s risk for infection;
- a nasal swab test to identify, and treat, any pre-existing staph infections; and
- the use of an antibiotic wash by the patient for three days leading up to a procedure, particularly with joint replacement surgery.
Working collaboratively with our patients, we can help ensure they are as healthy as possible prior to undergoing surgery—better protecting them from preventable harm.
Technology that promotes safety
Main Line Health is a leader in bringing automation and technology resources to the point of care for physicians, nurses, and other care providers. Technology solutions improve safety by reducing errors in communication, improving access to patient information across care settings, streamlining access to results, and providing a “double check” to reduce human error in the complex health care setting. Examples of these technological advances include:
- utilization of Computerized Physician Order Entry, resulting in the automation of manual processes related to patient orders; with the goal of, improving order accuracy and communications among departments as well as reducing risk of duplicate orders
- system-wide use of Medication Administration Checking software solutions that reduce the risk of medication errors
- access to imaging solutions that deliver radiology studies to the point of diagnosis and treatment
- installation of technology to print bar code labels at the bedside for specimen labeling, reducing the risk of mislabeled specimens and improving access to patient information
Culture of safety initiative and our great catch awards
At Main Line Health, we celebrate staff members who promote safety and reduce risks at the individual level. More than 200 of our employees have been recognized over the past two years as Great Catch safety award winners. Whether avoiding an error, noticing an environmental issue, clarifying a miscommunication, or other such safety concern, these individuals took action to improve safety in their workplace. All of our Great Catch winners are excellent ambassadors and examples of how a reliable culture of safety engages every single person across the health system.