The Joint Commission has recently visited Little Falls Hospital for its accreditation visit. Overall, the survey went well except for the standards related to the 2010 National Patient Safety Goals. The Joint Commission surveyors indicated that the hospital has not devoted enough resources and staff into achieving these goals.
As the new risk manager, you are aware of the following issues:
•There is no specific plan on how Little Falls Hospital will address and achieve these goals. This has been handled on a department by department basis.
•Recently, there has been a significant plaintiff settlement paid by the hospital’s insurance carrier, which involved a patient death related to the incorrect medication being administered.
•The costs of the hospital’s professional liability insurance continue to escalate, and the policy is due to expire in 6 months. Little Falls Hospital has had the same health professional liability insurance policy for 10 years.
•The hospital is facing financial constraints and does not have a significant amount of cash on hand to invest in new technologies.
You have been asked by the hospital’s board of director’s to prepare a risk management plan that will help to develop a culture of safety throughout Little Falls Hospital. The plan should address the National Patient Safety Goals and strategies to be implemented throughout the organization. Prepare a 750-word summary of the important components of the plan, the resources that are required to implement, and strategies to overcome some of the hospital’s deficiencies. Your primary text and journal and website research must be used as a reference to support your analysis.
Mr. Howard—Joint Commission Surveyor
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Overall, I believe that Little Falls Hospital provides good quality care to its patients. The hospital scored very high in many aspects of the survey, but it did not seem focused on the Joint Commission National Patient Safety standards. The knowledge and understanding of these goals was inconsistent among staff; however, some of the departments had little awareness on how these goals impact the operations. Communication is definitely a problem.
Barbara Gillium—Director of Radiology
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I have attended several conferences in the last couple of years and these goals have always been an important topic of discussion. The radiology department has always prided itself in quality care, and we do everything we can to make sure our patient care is not only the highest quality but also the safest possible.
Max Dillon—Hospital Pharmacist
The pharmacy department has always been one of the best departments in the hospital. I keep asking for the money to invest in technology but I always get denied. I think that our current systems are more effective than the latest technology. You invest all that money, but it is the same humans who are providing care and dispensing medicines. I think sometimes that computerized systems give staff a false sense of security, when they should be doing their jobs accurately anyway.
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