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  • Promoting a Culture of Safety at Lifespan's Hospitals: Monitoring, Reporting and Preventing Errors

  • Lifespan's affiliated hospitals are committed to promoting a culture of safety.

    We require our staff members:

    1. to be responsible and accountable for their actions
    2. to address and report safety risks of any sort
    3. to work individually and collaboratively to prevent errors

    Toward that end, employees participate in training, learn new systems and processes, and work to implement improvements as needed. Quality control is a key element to monitoring our progress in these areas.

    We encourage employees to proactively identify problems.

    Lifespan requires all employees to engage in surveys, evaluations and electronic focus groups as a means of proactively identifying problems. When the findings of these surveys are tabulated, senior leadership meet with managers, nurses, doctors and other staff members to discuss the survey results and to glean suggestions for improvement. Staff training or other interventions that may be needed for corrective measures are recommended. This process, known as Employee Engagement, is coordinated by the Lifespan Learning Institute within Lifespan's human resources department. It helps to empower all employees to become part of the solution.

    The Employee Engagement program also proved valuable to the Bradley Hospital staff when they convened to discuss issues which directly impacted safety and clinical care. For each issue raised, solutions were proposed. In 2009, Bradley Hospital was presented with the Barnet Fain Quality Award in recognition of the staff's collective problem solving, subsequent training, and resulting implementation of patient safety improvements at the hospital.

    We believe that a culture of safety is also a culture of transparency.

    When human error does occur, or when a safety event happens, Lifespan promotes fair and just responses by balancing a non-punitive approach to reporting and continuous improvement, while also holding all staff members accountable to meet their fundamental responsibilities.

    Errors are expected to be reported immediately, investigated, and a solution is sought and communicated in order to prevent future errors.

    All of Lifespan's affiliated hospitals participate in assessments conducted by the Agency for Health care Research and Quality (AHRQ), which falls under the aegis of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The findings of these assessments are published and are available for public review. They offer a benchmark for how our affiliated hospitals rank locally and nationally. We also actively seek patient feedback and implement changes based on information we receive.

    We encourage you to return to this web page for updates on Lifespan's continual efforts to foster a culture of safety and submit any questions or concerns you may have.