By Catherine Tess Earley, Process Improvement Engineer, Riddle Hospital
Main Line Health has received a Delaware Valley Patient Safety and Quality Award and a $1,000 grant from The Healthcare Improvement Foundation. The entries for the award were reviewed by clinical and administrative leaders from area hospitals and judging was completed by a panel of quality and patient safety experts. Entries were assigned scores, with the highest scores given for innovative initiatives that demonstrate novel approaches.
MLH’s project was developed from a patient safety event that occurred in 2014 and was identified as an opportunity across the System. The project was championed by Executive Sponsor Helen Kuroki, MD (former Riddle Hospital VPMA); Physician Champion Jim Gengaro, DO (Riddle Hospital HMS Campus Chief); Team Leader Christine Falcone (Riddle Hospital Quality Director); and PI Facilitator Tess Earley (Riddle Hospital Process Improvement Engineer) with more than 40 employees Systemwide involved in the project.
It was found that many prescribers did not fully understand the automatic stoppage of medications nor the meaning of orders approaching expiration within the EMR. Our “safety net process” of a pharmacist calling prescribers regarding orders that were approaching expiration has become the de facto first line of the defense, causing pharmacists to spend a significant time trying to track down prescribers.
Through this project, we were able to change several EMR icons to make them more intuitive (these changes subsequently were implemented for approximately 450,000 Siemens/Cerner users worldwide). We were also able to decrease the number of calls from the pharmacist team by 61% Systemwide (Acutes: 64%, Rehab: 49%).
The team was extremely dedicated to seeing this project through, so it is very rewarding to have that hard work recognized as we continue to drive patient safety forward every day.
In photo, from left: Christine Falcone; Kate Flynn, President of the Health Care Improvement Foundation; Tess Earley, and Dr. Gengaro.