Not On Our Watch: We Care About Patient Safety

Last updated: Mar 13, 2017

Patient safety is a top priority at Summit Medical Group (SMG).

How do you create a culture that not only delivers exceptional care, but also values safety and learns from medical errors? The key is to partner with patients.

“SMG is unique in its delivery of care, because patients come to us voluntarily. In the hospital setting, patients need to be taken care of. Here, people come to us willingly because they have a check-up or medical concern. They are true partners in their care with us,” says Donna Tarulli, MN, RN, CPHQ, CPHRM, Director of Risk Management and Patient Safety at SMG.  

Every year, during National Patient Safety Awareness Week, health care professionals at SMG pledge to continue to work together to put themselves in their patients’ shoes and keep our facilities free from harm. Here are some ways patients and providers can team together to keep our environment safe.  

Communicate

  • One of the best ways to avoid medical errors is to have an open dialogue with your doctor and care management team. Ask questions if you do not understand instructions or medication dosages. Be honest if you experience a new symptom or lifestyle change that may impact your health.

“We empower patients and their caregivers to speak up so they can fully participate in their health. This helps the doctor make an accurate diagnosis and ultimately helps the patient feel better,” says Monica Roth, BSN, RN, CPHRM, Clinical Supervisor of Risk Management, Patient Safety, and Patient Relations at SMG.

  • SMG offers interpreter and hearing assistance services for patients. Please tell the staff if you need any accommodations when you schedule your appointment.

Accident Safety

  • Preventing slips, trips, and falls are important at medical facilities. SMG staff members will assist patients who need help walking to their appointment. Patients are encouraged to let the staff know if they need help getting on the exam table or scale.

Infection Prevention

  • During cold and flu season, extra Purell stations are placed at the entrance to every facility. Signs are posted throughout the building requesting that any patient with flu symptoms wear a mask. SMG also offers convenient after-hours and weekend flu clinic appointments throughout the fall that make it easier to get a flu shot.
  • The Infection Prevention Committee meets regularly to select the best disinfectant products. Our cleaning and linen services team diligently washes all patient areas from the curtains in the exam room to the tables in the waiting room. Committee members perform random spot checks to ensure every area is germ-free.
  • Our staff is prepared to deal with new epidemics or infectious diseases, such as Zika, Measles, or Chickenpox. In the event of a new infectious disease scare, such as Ebola, the Infection Prevention Committee immediately develops an action plan to protect our patients and staff.

Medication / Pharmacy Services

  • At every appointment, patients are asked to provide an updated list of medications and disclose any allergies.
  • Remember to tell your physician if you are taking any over-the-counter medications or supplements.   
  • The staff in our Pharmacy Department ensures that every medication is safely stored and transported from the time it arrives at the facility until it is delivered to the patient.

Continuing Education

  • We learn from mistakes. SMG leadership encourages providers and staff to discuss medical errors and find solutions that address the problem so it does not occur again.
  • Our staff attends yearly trainings in risk management and patient safety. We practice transparency at SMG. 

References:

  1. Interview with Donna Tarulli, MN, RN, CPHQ, CPHRM, Director, Risk Management and Patient Safety (2/24/16).
  2. Interview with Monica Roth, BSN, RN, CPHRM, Clinical Supervisor, Risk Management, Patient Safety, and Patient Relations (2/24/16).  
  3. Interview with Meghan McCord-Zaro, BSN, RN, MSJ, Manager, Risk Management and Patient Safety (2/24/16).  

 

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