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New Safety Alert system makes communication as easy as 1, 2, 3

Yale New Haven Health has seen a number of improvements in patient safety since making a commitment to become a high reliability organization several years ago.

A key component of that success has been the daily morning safety huddle at each delivery network across the system, which brings leaders together to address any issues from the prior 24 hours or concerns for the upcoming 24 hours. This daily gathering has proven invaluable for sharing and addressing important information in real time at each delivery network.

However, there are instances when safety information identified at a delivery network must be shared systemwide. On Oct. 1, YNHHS launched a “Safety Alert” communication system to share important information identified at any delivery network across the health system.

“Our main goal is to enhance opportunities for shared learning,” said Karen DeSantis, RN, safety and quality coordinator, YNHHS.

In collaboration with the Office of Emergency Preparedness and using an electronic communication platform, a Safety Alert can be launched from anywhere within YNHHS and reach leaders simultaneously. Alerts are standardized to include Situation, Background, Assessment and Recommendations (SBAR) and are designated one of three levels: 1 - informational, 2 - important and 3 - urgent. Since implementation, alerts have included details about a specific medication with a potential for dosage errors and information about a new type of peripherally inserted central catheter that may be unfamiliar to staff.

“This is yet another example of how we are truly coming together as a system in a meaningful and positive way,” said Steve Jones, MD, YNHHS medical director of safety.