Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Patient Safety Becomes Pedestrian Safety

I had a real fright last Friday morning. I had been invited to attend a lecture at the annual meeting of the Maryland Patient Safety Center in downtown Baltimore at the Hilton. I was listening to Joan Lunden, who used to be the co-host of Good Morning America, give her plenary address. While I was sitting there, I got a text message from JoAnn Ioannou our Chief Nursing Officer. JoAnn’s text said that two of our nurses, who were crossing Pratt Street on their way to the meeting that I was at, were hit by a car!

My heart was racing as I made my way to Shock Trauma. When I arrived at the Family Waiting Room, I was told that I would have to wait awhile to get more information. The staff  at the University of Maryland Medical Center immediately welcomed me and tried to allay my fears. A wave of panic went through me and I worked hard to control my emotions. We then got word that the two nurses were stable . I was told that a driver allegedly had gone through a red light, which caused the nurses’ injuries.

When we talk about the “Just Culture” we speak of human error, at-risk behavior, and reckless behavior. I want to remind everyone to be cautious for their own safety, and carry the “preoccupation with failure,” that we exercise in patient care at GBMC to our lives outside of the work environment.

Remembering a Friend and Trusted Colleague
On Friday afternoon at the Sheppard Pratt Conference Center, GBMC and Sheppard Pratt held a memorial service for Darin Lerner, MD. Darin died suddenly of a myocardial infarction a few weeks ago. He was the Chair of Psychiatry at GBMC and an employee of Sheppard Pratt. The service was beautifully orchestrated by our Chaplain Joe Hart and attended by Darin’s widow, Dr. Laura Seidel, his brother Lane, and many members of the GBMC and Sheppard Pratt families. I said a few words of remembrance and thanksgiving for Darin’s hard work and marvelous devotion to his patients. Dr. Bob Roca, the Sheppard Pratt Chief Medical Officer, also spoke and commented on Darin’s career both as a resident in Psychiatry at Sheppard and also since then as an attending psychiatrist. Carolyn Keller, our interim nurse manager of Unit 36, told the crowd how much our nurses miss Darin as a friend, colleague and teacher. Other friends and colleagues added their thoughts at the loss of such a trusted healer. A search committee has been formed to find our new Chair of Psychiatry, but, we will not be able to truly replace Dr. Darin Learner. We will work hard to make his legacy be even better behavioral health care at GBMC and Sheppard Pratt.

Kudos to our maternity care staff
I am proud to announce that we recently received the Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation, a new designation under the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program.

Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care, an expansion of the national Blue Distinction Specialty Care program, is awarded to hospitals recognized for delivering quality, cost-effective specialty care safely and effectively, based on objective measures developed with input from the medical community.  To receive a Blue Distinction Centers+ for Maternity Care designation, a hospital must also meet requirements for cost efficiency.

This is an important achievement because hospitals that receive a Blue Distinction Center+ for Maternity Care designation agreed to meet requirements that align with principles that support evidence-based practices of care, as well as having initiated programs to promote successful breastfeeding and it evaluates hospitals on overall patient satisfaction, including a willingness to recommend the hospital to others.

We are truly pleased to receive this recognition. This acknowledgement was made possible by the dedicated staff who work tirelessly to care for our community and provide quality services to our patients and their families.  Congratulations to everyone involved who help to make our maternity care one of the best in the region!

Happy Holidays
On a final note, the GBMC HealthCare family sends its best wishes to everyone celebrating Easter this Sunday and the Jewish holiday, Purim, on Thursday.

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