Patient-safety-fairKeeping our patients, families, and staff safe is an ongoing process at HUP. This year’s Patient Safety Awareness Fair highlighted many of those safety measures, some initiated just in the past year.

For example, Safety Management’s new evacuation sled –- which can move over any surface -- will help move critically ill inpatients off units in the case of emergency. “These are what NYU Langone Medical Center used to help evacuate patients during Hurricane Sandy,” said Jeff Henne, Corporate Safety specialist.

While no one can predict when workplace violence will occur, training workers to protect themselves helps keep injury to a minimum. A demonstration by Noah Brophy of Founders 12 showed how the UPHS Management of Aggressive Behavior program helps to safely de-escalate a situation.

Another table at the fair focused on bar code medication administration, which uses electronic scanning to verify a medication. At HUP, this is the last of several safety steps in place to ensure that the right medication is going to the right patient. The pilot program on Founders 12 “had great results,” said Karen D’Agostino, BSN, so plans to expand to all patient units are in place.

What is my main problem? What do I need to do? Why is it important for me to do this? These questions are part of the Ask Me 3 patient education program designed to encourage patients to become active members of their health care team and promote improved health outcomes. During National Patient Safety Awareness Week, liners on patient meal trays helped spread the word about this new initiative as well as information regarding myPennMedicine, our patients’ direct access to their health record. “The place mats are a great example of how we creatively share info with patients,” said Jill Huzinec, director of Patient Safety.

Other new safety measures highlighted during the Fair included:

  • The use of capnography in interventional radiology as an early indicator that a patient under conscious sedation is not breathing deeply enough or has stopped breathing.
  • A standardization of colors of patient “alert” bracelets (eg, fall risk, latex allergy, etc.) throughout UPHS hospitals so all care providers can immediately recognize the precaution. The standard correlates to the state’s official colors so there is no variation when patients are transferred into the Health System. 
  • An alarm safety initiative (a National Patient Safety Goal) to help prevent staff from becoming “desensitized” to the many medical equipment alarms on inpatient units.

 “National Patient Safety Week raises awareness of our many safety initiatives,” Huzinec said. “Employees can learn about safety initiatives in other departments that they can put in use on their own unit or department.”

Learn more about HUP's Patient Safety Fair demonstrations, posters, and handouts. Click here to see more photos.

Patient Safety Poster Contest

A new addition for the 2014 National Patient Safety Awareness Week challenged staff on patient-care units to create posters focusing on patient safety, to educate staff and families. “Many nurses cannot leave the bedside to participate in the Safety Fair so we decided to do activities on the units,” said Jill Huzinec, director of Patient Safety.

Posters were rated on visual appearance, creativity, content value for the audience, and effectiveness in communicating the safety message.      

Tied for the top award for the best patient/family poster were Founders 12 and Silverstein 12. Winning first place for the best staff poster was Founders 10-11. Founders 12 claimed second place.

Click here to view all patient unit poster submissions.

Photo caption: Sonya Wood (l.) of Staffing for All Seasons, and Cara Brindley of Women's Health help promote the Ask Me 3 patient education program.


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