Safety first … first thing every morning

During a recent morning safety report meeting, team members on the York Street Campus collaborated with colleagues on the Saint Raphael Campus via teleconference. Participants included (l-r): Tori Dahl Vickers, RN, director, Accreditation, Safety and Regulatory Affairs; Jessica Nuzzo, quality improvement specialist, Performance Management; Dr. Thomas Balcezak; and Sue Fitzsimons, RN, PhD, senior vice president, Patient Services.
During a recent morning safety report meeting, team members on the York Street Campus collaborated with colleagues on the Saint Raphael Campus via teleconference. Participants included (l-r): Tori Dahl Vickers, RN, director, Accreditation, Safety and Regulatory Affairs; Jessica Nuzzo, quality improvement specialist, Performance Management; Dr. Thomas Balcezak; and Sue Fitzsimons, RN, PhD, senior vice president, Patient Services.

Patient safety is Yale-New Haven Hospital's top priority. So important, in fact, that on day one of the integration of Yale-New Haven Hospital and the Hospital of Saint Raphael, hospital leaders instituted the morning safety report.

Each morning at 8 a.m., seven days a week, Yale-New Haven Hospital senior leaders, selected managers and medical directors come together for a brief safety meeting to discuss patient safety and quality concerns. On the Saint Raphael Campus, participants gather in the Selina Lewis Building and connect via videoconference to participants on York Street. On weekends, the administrator on call runs the meeting via conference call.

The 15-minute briefings are based on the Healthcare Performance Improvement (HPI) model. HPI is a leading comprehensive safety improvement organization that serves more than 200 hospitals throughout the country.

YNHH's morning safety report is led by the hospital's Performance Management Department and includes a four-point agenda: looking back at significant safety or quality issues from the last 24 hours; looking ahead to anticipated safety or quality issues in the next 24 hours; discussing safety catches, or near misses where an employee catches a mistake or error before it causes harm to a patient; and implementing follow-up, including status reports on previously identified issues. All issues are documented until they are resolved.

"The morning safety report is a practice new to both campuses," said Thomas Balcezak, MD, associate chief of staff and chief quality officer.

"Because our organization is so large, it is extremely helpful to have representatives from throughout the hospital come together to share concerns, identify potential safety issues and collaborate on solutions. These daily meetings have been very productive."