Friday, March 15, 2019

Celebrating Patient Safety Awareness Week

This week is Patient Safety Awareness Week (March 10-16).  This annual recognition is meant to urge the public to learn more about healthcare safety and for hospitals to share their work on patient safety and safety culture. The goal is for healthcare systems to improve patient safety while developing lasting partnerships among staff, patients, and the community.

Safety is at the core of our vision. We owe it to our patients to keep them free from harm when they are in our care. We have come so far in eliminating error, but we still have so much to do.

We have worked hard to create a just culture, in which we begin from the premise that humans will make mistakes and they should not be punished unless they are consciously violating safe practices. We console those who make an error and we coach those who drift away from safe practices. We build systems to catch human error so that the mistake doesn’t reach the patient. A good example of this is scanning all medications to make sure that the drug has been ordered by a provider and verified by a pharmacist to prevent giving a patient the wrong medicine.

We are delighted to work in partnership with our patients. Patients and family members play an important role in preventing harm. At GBMC, we educate patients on their disease processes, we teach them about their medications, and we encourage them to ask questions. An informed patient, who is comfortable speaking up, is less likely to experience harm.

Here are some facts that the GBMC family can be proud of:
--We were one of only eight hospitals in Maryland to receive an ‘A’ in The Leapfrog Group’s Hospital Safety Grades in 2018. These grades measure how well hospitals protect patients from harm.
--We’ve only had ONE surgical site infection for hip and knee replacement surgeries since January 2016. Prior to that, we had averaged approximately one surgical site infection per month.
--Unit 36 and Unit 58 have been Central Line Associated Bloodstream Infection (CLABSI)-free for over four years.
--Unit 45 has not had a Catheter Associated Urinary Tract Infection (CAUTI) since 2012 and Unit 35 has been CAUTI-free since 2013.

These results did not happen by chance. We put evidence-based standard work in place to prevent these episodes and we hold ourselves accountable to follow the standard work. Whether staff members have direct or indirect contact with patients, everyone plays an important role in preventing harm. I want to thank all our GBMC physicians, nurses, advanced practitioners, and everyone in our system for their tireless efforts as we work towards zero harm.

Come Out and Walk for A Great Cause!
Did you know that one in three women and one in six men in the U.S. have experienced some form of sexual violence in their lifetime? To raise awareness on this very important issue, we are holding our annual Walk a Mile in Their Shoes event during Sexual Assault Awareness Month.

This powerful event, which takes place on Saturday, April 6, is hosted by the GBMC Foundation and presented by the GBMC Volunteer Auxiliary. It’s a great opportunity to educate the community about sexual assault and domestic violence. Participants will walk one mile around GBMC’s campus to shed light on this extremely important issue.

Walk a Mile in Their Shoes, which financially supports our SAFE and Domestic Violence Program, has continued to grow over the past four years. We are proud of the impact that this program is having, and we are grateful for all the community support that allows GBMC to provide these necessary services across the region.

I want all of you to consider walking with us and/or financially supporting the event. For more information, please visit:

Advanced Practitioners Week
This year GBMC is celebrating advanced practitioners in a very unique way. The theme of the week was “The Resilient Practitioner: Wellness and self-care for those who care for others.” The theme was inspired by the book, “The Resilient Practitioner: Burnout and Compassion, Fatigue Prevention and Self-Care Strategies for the Helping Professions.” The week-included a variety of wellness and resilience-based activities such as: flower arranging, pet therapy, yoga, eating cupcakes, and making essential oil sprays. Today, we ended with a ceremony to honor advanced practitioners who exceed expectations in skill and professionalism. GBMC is the home to more than 150 advanced practitioners who apply their skill and hard work every day to move us closer to our vision. Happy Advanced Practitioner Week!

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