Hospital Happenings: March 2017

MMH Safety Huddles Support Patient Safety

Every morning at Montrose Memorial Hospital key employees from every department come together and participate in our Safety Huddle. This huddle typically lasts 10-15 minutes where we share potential or existing safety problems facing our patients or workers. In addition we acknowledge and celebrate positive interactions, jobs well done, and special events. The huddle is then wrapped up by asking if any patients, physicians or co-workers need special attention or follow-up. These daily meetings have definitely heightened awareness and elevated the culture of safety throughout the organization.

By having representatives from both clinical and non-clinical areas of the hospital involved, we increase safety awareness among staff, allow for discussion with all team members and foster a culture of safety. It’s also a great place to educate, motivate and reinforce initiatives that are happening throughout the hospital. When the elevator needs serviced, we talk about how that will impact our patients, our day to day routine, and what alternatives we need to put in place. The e-mail system at MMH recently went down and it was great to have the right people from each of the departments talking about how they were being affected and what we needed to do to change our communication channels. Other issues that have been discussed include equipment/supply shortages, staffing concerns, as well as patient and staff security.

At first, the safety huddle was met with some resistance as some felt that they didn’t have time in their schedules for “another meeting.” However, after several months, we agree that the huddle fosters a sense of community throughout the team and creates a culture of collaboration and collegiality that increases safety awareness and our capacity for reducing harm to our patients and employees. Teamwork improves when people can see the whole picture and know how all the cogs in the wheel work together for the best outcomes.

Seven days a week, 365 days a year, you can be assured that the staff at MMH is supporting a culture of safety built by a high awareness of real and potential safety issues at all times and at all levels of the organization. In just a few minutes a day, these huddles promote transparency, teamwork and help us all provide the safest care and environment for all.

Leann Tobin, Director of Marketing and Public Relations, MMH 240-7344