If a staff member makes a “good catch” or prevents a “miss”, recognize that! We all establish protocols to ensure a safe environment of care, and with so many requirements from so many different regulatory bodies, sometimes it can feel like we’re doing a lot of unnecessary work. But when we see our systems preventing errors, we know that our efforts are paying off. Patients are receiving the highest possible quality of care when our systems work well. Make an effort to reward your staff when they make a “good catch”. And if it’s a potential error that could have been stopped sooner, use that situation as a learning opportunity to improve your system*.
It’s also important for your staff to feel secure in their efforts to ensure patient safety. Pre-procedure “time-outs” are a great example of how we’ve adapted to patient safety best practices. Staff are encouraged to speak up during time-outs if they feel something isn’t right about the procedure or its details. In the same way that we encourage this type of input, be sure to encourage other avenues for staff to improve patient safety at your facility. If they catch a potential allergy contraindication, will your staff hold the order like in our case study? Or will they feel pressured to administer the drug, anyway?
Finally, consider your peer review process and follow up. In the event that a peer review case concludes as a variance from the normal range of care, how does your facility approach that? What if the credentialed staff member disagrees with the conclusion? Consider how you might approach this situation at your facility.
*Many state and accrediting agencies are requiring ongoing process improvement projects. Following up on “good catches” to create PI projects is an excellent way to meet this requirement and make a meaningful different at your facility!