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  • Patient Safety: Lifespan’s Perioperative Services

  • Keeping Patients Safe Before, During and After Surgery

    All of Lifespan's affiliated hospitals (including Rhode Island Hospital and its Hasbro Children's Hospital) embrace a patient safety approach to perioperative surgery. Rhode Island Hospital is committed to bringing multi-disciplinary teams of surgeons, anesthesia care providers, nurses and surgical technicians together to adhere to strict procedures that help to ensure that a patient's surgical experience is safe before, during and after surgery.

    Patient Safety Initiatives

    A number of patient safety initiatives have been adopted. These include:

    • A universal protocol process, developed initially at Rhode Island Hospital and The Miriam Hospital, is mandated for use in all operating rooms and in all surgical areas: cardiac, general, genitourinary, plastic, neuro, pediatric and vascular. This process helps to safeguard patients against wrong-site and wrong-side surgeries. Surgeons, anesthesia care providers, nurses and surgical technicians must adhere to a strict use of checklists based on a model developed by the World Health Organization (WHO). Lifespan's hospitals pioneered the adoption of the universal protocol process now mandated for use in all hospitals in Rhode Island, the first state in the nation to adopt it. All Lifespan's medical and support staff have undergone rigorous training which further strengthens team communication by ensuring each member has an equal voice.
    • A quality assurance monitoring system has been adopted to measure the effectiveness of the universal protocol process and to serve as an auditing tool.
    • At Rhode Island Hospital, new staff members have been hired to better meet the needs of our patients. These newly hired personnel include an operating room medical director (who is a surgeon), a director of quality and patient safety and managers of quality and patient safety within the nursing staff.
    • A Perioperative Patient Quality and Safety Strategic Plan, a component of Lifespan's Continuous Quality Improvement Plan, has been developed to advance safe patient care and to reach optimal patient outcome.
    • Further goals of the Quality Improvement Plan include working in partnership with the clinical management teams to develop and implement additional safe patient care practices; to provide clinical and non-clinical staff education and training; to monitor and audit practices; to research activities related to patient satisfaction and quality improvement; to prioritize safety risks; to design safe systems; and to work to reduce the number of steps in workflow processes.

    Proven Results

    Data collected during audits in 2009 revealed that Lifespan's patient safety record for perioperative services is exemplary:

    • 100% of all patients were reported to have appropriate hair removal before surgery.
    • 98% of all patients were reported to have controlled serum glucose before surgery.
    • 100% of all patients experienced a prophylactic antibiotic selection consistent with current guidelines.
    • 97% of all patients received prophylactic antibiotic within one hour prior to surgical incisions.