Saturday, January 11, 2014

319th Medical Group Ambulatory Clinic Patient Safety Program named best in AMC

by Staff Sgt. Susan L. Davis
319th Air Base Wing Public Affairs

1/9/2014 - GRAND FORKS AIR FORCE BASE, N.D. -- The 319th Medical Group Patient Safety Program was recently named the best in Air Mobility Command for the first time.

Elizabeth Nelson, Healthcare Team Training Contract Patient Safety manager, credits the win to numerous improvements the clinic has made in the last year.

"In 2013, we added a dedicated Patient Safety Program Manager, increased staff education and training, and bolstered involvement of section patient safety representatives," she said. "Perhaps the most significant improvement was leadership encouragement of near-miss and event reporting in the patient safety reporting system, which helps identify what does and doesn't work. Having their support empowered Airmen to speak up and make suggestions for improving patient care."

Nelson said the purpose of the patient safety program is to prevent patient harm through prevention and process improvement efforts. A large part of the program relies on event and near-miss reporting, which is used to identify procedures needing some changes, as well as various proactive monitoring surveys.

For the 319th Medical Group, she said, it's all about streamlining the process and accomplishing the mission in the most efficient way possible.

"For us, the focus is on the process, not who to blame, and that promotes a learning environment that values integrity and continued improvement," she said. "These values are vital to the medical career field."

Nelson said Patient Safety is also involved in team training and patient-centered events such as National Drug Take-Back Day and Patient Safety Awareness Week. Award nominees were judged on their successes through prevention efforts, leadership involvement and promotion of patient safety.

"It is quite an honor to receive this recognition, and every member of the 319th Medical Group should be proud of their contributions," she said. "In addition to our staff focusing on safety and quality, we hope to empower our patients as well. Patients are considered part of the team, and play a vital role in the healthcare process. Educating patients to be their own advocate will provide them the tools to communicate their needs with the healthcare team. Without their input and understanding of the plan of care, we cannot do our jobs to the best of our ability."

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