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    A Slice of Support for Patient Safety Awareness Week at NHB

    A Slice of Support for Patient Safety Awareness Week at NHB

    Photo By Douglas Stutz | It was a slice of support for this year’s Patient Safety Awareness Week. With the...... read more read more

    It was a slice of support for this year’s Patient Safety Awareness Week.

    With the theme “Be a Patient Safety Hero: Anytime, Anywhere – Always,” Naval Hospital Bremerton reached out to staff to describe their commitment to patient safety by providing replies to the following questions:

    What does Patient Safety mean to you?
    What patient safety concepts are applicable to where you work?
    How do you help keep patients safe?
    Who do you consider a patient safety hero and why?

    There was also an added incentive. The department with the most replies and participation during the week was the recipient of a pizza party that day –the proverbial Slice for Safety.

    As of mid-week, the command’s Urgent Care Clinic team had submitted 16 submissions, followed by Internal Medicine with six and Quality Management with five.

    No surprise was Elma Faye Miller, NHB’s infection prevention and control nurse provided the initial – and insightful – response.

    What does Patient Safety mean to you?
    “As the infection prevention and control nurse for our command, patient safety is quite literally in my job description,” said Miller. “That being said, infection control is only one aspect of patient safety. Patient safety is the responsibility of all employees. Identifying the risks or potentials for harm to our patients, staff and visitors followed by creating plans and setting goals to address and eliminate them are crucial responsibilities to our success as a health care establishment.”

    What patient safety concepts are applicable to where you work?
    “Infection prevention and control is my main focus, but it isn’t my only focus. During Quality Management Department Joint Commission mock surveys, I assist other QM and safety team members to identify and address other potential risks as they are identified in our health care environment,” Miller said.

    How do you help keep patients safe?
    “The best way to keep our patients safe from the infection prevention and control standpoint is to always follow standard precautions which include hand hygiene; cleaning and disinfection of equipment and environmental areas; promoting preventive vaccinations for patients and staff; proper application and use of personal protective equipment; respiratory etiquette, and safe injections practices as routine practice,” stressed Miller.

    The Internal Medicine Clinic team also provided immediate replies.

    “Free pizza and patient safety are both causes I can get behind whole-heartedly,” exclaimed Lt. Hana Reichert, Internal Medicine department and specialty clinics interim department head. “Patient Safety means vigilance and not taking anything for granted! It can be easy to relax into routines on regular workdays or default to work-arounds on the crazy busy days. But mishaps and near-misses can occur at any time. We need to be constantly reviewing what we are doing, how we are doing it, and then verifying with ourselves, our team, and the patient, that we are providing safety-conscious care.”

    Alicia Antonio, registered nurse with NHB’s Internal Medicine clinic provided her assessment on what patient safety means to her.
    “The Hippocratic Oath “To Do No Harm” embodies what patient safety means to me. It is ensuring delivery of care that promotes prevention of errors and minimizing inessential harm to patient. Furthermore, it is also learning from errors made and improvement of process and procedures to guarantee safe delivery of healthcare to our patients,” said Antonio.

    Lt. Andrew Ritter, Internal Medicine physician offered his perspective on who he considers a patient safety hero and why.

    “Alicia Antonio is a patient safety hero due to her constant advocacy for the healthcare of patients and her expertise in helping patients to navigate the healthcare system to get the appropriate level of care,” Ritter wrote.

    Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class Kaja Anas-Ilemam, shared her thoughts on what patient safety concepts are applicable to where she works in the Internal Medicine clinic.

    “There are many levels to patient safety where my team and I apply every day. These concepts may begin with myself as a healthcare provider, ensuring I am protecting myself from diseases and/or unsafe environments. Preventative health also plays a role in our health care process by completing thorough patient history intakes and reviewing necessary information in order to provide the most appropriate level of care,” Anas-Ilemam said.

    Hospital Corpsman 2nd Class Jessica Casillas took the lead in compiling patient safety insight from her UCC co-workers and readily shared her thoughts on the topic.

    “Patient safety to me means how can I protect the patient in the best ways possible and how can I help to ensure they are getting the best care possible,” explained Casillas, adding that some of the patient safety concepts she applies are two patient identifiers, time-out sheets, barcode medication administration and allergy bands on applicable patients.

    Casillas also keep patients safe in the UCC by such measures as putting guard rails in place, asking two identifiers, - “every single time,” she stressed – and explaining discharge instructions thoroughly so patients don’t go home confused about their care.

    Asked about those she considers patient safety heroes, Casillas noted Monique Becker, medical support assistant, registered nurses Catherine Detty and Stephen Shirk.

    “They alert doctors of patients who should go to the emergency room and take amazing care of every patient who walks through our doors,” stated Casillas.

    The annual educational, awareness and appreciation campaign for healthcare safety is supported throughout the Defense Health Agency at commands like Naval Hospital Bremerton. The mission of the DHA is to support the nation in improving health and building readiness – making extraordinary experiences ordinary and exceptional outcomes routine.

    That mission is predicated on patient safety.

    “As a Defense Health Agency ready reliable care organization, it’s crucial that we all continue to do our part,” said Capt. Sam Espiritu, NHB chief medical officer, pain physician and anesthesiologist.

    For Espiritu, “Patient safety means everyone works to avoid preventable errors that can cause patient harm and findings solutions to prevent repeat errors.”

    What patient safety concepts are applicable to where you work?
    “As an anesthesiologist I work in the operating room,” Espiritu said. “Part of our pre-anesthetic pause is to identify our patient by name and date of birth, medication allergies and procedure. The two unique patient identifiers prevent HIPAA breaches. But most importantly can prevent wrong procedure or wrong medication errors.”

    How do you help keep patients safe?
    “My other job as chief medical officer is to take the best practices such as DHA’s Ready, Reliable Care and make that part of our hospital staff’s everyday routine to ensure the safest possible environment for our patients,” remarked Espiritu, noting that Ready Reliable Care is DHA’s approach to increasing high reliability across the Military Health System and builds on existing work and best practices of the service medical departments and the DHA.

    Who do you consider a patient safety hero and why?
    “Lab, Pharmacy and Radiology,” remarked Espiritu. “They are the unsung heroes of the hospital doing a lot of their work behind the scenes, adhering to strict regulations and governing organizations that ensure some of the strongest safeguards to patient safety are in place.”



    Date Taken: 03.15.2024
    Date Posted: 03.15.2024 13:50
    Story ID: 466303

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