Every day is Patient Safety Day at Barton Health
About the author
Dawn Evans is the Director of Clinical Education and Patient Safety at Barton Health. To learn more about quality and patient safety at Barton, or view current safety awards, visit bartonhealth.org/tahoe/report-card.aspx
Patient Safety Awareness Week is March 11 through 17. During this important time, Barton Health is celebrating all of its team members and the hard work they do every day to make sure patient safety is always first.
Hospitals are highly regulated to ensure safety measures including reducing infection, minimizing risks to patients, preventing readmission to the hospital after the patient goes home, and maintaining immunization rates to prevent the spread of disease.
Barton Health continues to perform well against those measurements. Quality and safety are so incredibly important, we have many programs in place beyond what is mandated by the state of California.
People may think hospitals are risky places, and they’re right. Barton Health is constantly evaluating operations to ensure each patient is safe and receiving high quality care. You might be interested to learn about some of the many safety programs currently taking place at Barton.
State and Industry Recognition for Safety
The California Health and Human Services Agency recently recognized Barton Health as having one of the lowest 2017 Cesarean section rates for birthing hospitals across the state. Reduced C-section rates mean more natural childbirths. Women who undergo vaginal birth have shorter hospital stays and avoid major surgery and its many risks. Barton Memorial Hospital is now recognized as a Blue Distinction® Center for Maternity Care and shows expertise in delivering improved patient safety and better health outcomes. This means increased safety for mothers and babies.
Empowering Patients and Family Members
The Condition H (Help) Program lets patients and family members call for immediate help if they feel the patient is not receiving adequate medical attention. The goal of the Condition H Program is to improve communication between families and caregivers and provide safeguards for families should communication break down.
To ensure patient care continues to be enhanced and improved, Barton hosts a Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). Barton’s PFAC recently installed a Family Care Kiosk located on the second floor of the hospital across from the family waiting room. This kiosk provides educational information for families to understand how to best be involved with loved ones’ care while in the hospital and once the patient returns home.
Above and Beyond Mandated Protocols
Barton Health’s Capnography Program was nationally recognized by The Joint Commission and by the Society for Technology in Anesthesia where Barton received an award for “Best Clinical Practice” because of continuous improvement in patient safety and high quality standards. The program uses state-of-the-art technology to measure patients’ breathing during anesthesia and while recovering. Barton Health’s Capnography Program improved the identification methods for at-risk patients, increased staff education on safety measures, and reduced the risk of respiratory failure. Because of this program, Barton Health’s rate of respiratory failure is lower than the national average, resulting in better patient outcomes.
Acute care in-patient departments at Barton Memorial Hospital now have a pneumonia-prevention program to educate patients on how to avoid respiratory infections. Best practices to minimize bacterial infections include elevating the head of the hospital bed, providing toothbrushes to patients to promote decreased oral bacteria getting into the lungs, and educational information to empower patients while in the hospital.
Investing in Safety
Barton invests heavily in patient safety programs and equipment. Barton Memorial Hospital’s MRI suite now has a magnetic threat detector at its entrance. This new device will detect metal objects inside of or being carried by the patient before entry into the MRI suite. The detector will prevent metal objects from becoming dangerous to patients and those around them.
Each of these programs are designed to support an environment of optimal healing as part of Barton Health’s commitment to providing consistently exceptional care. The diligence of Barton’s care providers has resulted in Barton being recognized as a top performing hospital by The Joint Commission.
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