Patient Safety at Middlesex Health
Patient safety is a priority for everyone. You want to keep yourself and your family safe when you're at home—and Middlesex Health wants to keep you safe while you are in our care.
Patient safety isn’t a new idea at Middlesex Health. In fact, we have been on the forefront of patient safety efforts for many years, and we became a High Reliability Organization in 2008.
In addition to our own safety programs, which we are always expanding, we participate in several national hospital safety initiatives. This gives us the opportunity to compare ourselves to other health care organizations in Connecticut and nationwide.
Health care facilities are where we go for treatment and healing—but there are still risks associated with being in the hospital. In 1999, the Institute of Medicine (IOM)—a branch of the National Academy of Sciences—published a report called, “To Err is Human.” This report described how tens of thousands of Americans die each year from medical errors that can be prevented. It didn’t take long for this alarming message to gain media and public attention.
At Middlesex Health, we are committed to changing this narrative by protecting you and your loved ones by taking every possible step to prevent medical errors.
Middlesex Health is a High Reliability Organization (HRO).
In 2008, Middlesex made the bold decision to become a High Reliability Organization. We did this in collaboration with several other Connecticut hospitals and the Connecticut Hospital Organization.
What was our goal? To reduce avoidable errors—which we call Serious Safety Events—by 85% over five years and then sustain all of the steps that were proven to prevent errors.
Did we achieve our goal? Yes! Middlesex Health has been successful in reducing Serious Safety Events by more than 85%. And we are still using the practices that helped us reach this milestone. For example:
- Every employee, from physicians to technicians to administrators, receives a three hour Safety CHAMP Toolkit training, which is based on the safety and error prevention practices of the aeronautical and nuclear industries. This training explains the safety tools we are expected to use each and every day, with each and every patient. These tools ensure exceptional communication, which is essential to preventing errors.
- We make clear to every employee that they can safely report any patient safety concern. Our culture of safety means that any reported safety concerns are addressed quickly and respectfully.
- All department leaders at Middlesex Health attend a daily Safety Huddle to review any safety concerns that arose in the past 24 hours. They also discuss the upcoming 24 hours and identify any possible threats to safety that might require attention or intervention.
The Safety CHAMP Toolkit
Every employee at Middlesex Health is trained in each of the techniques listed below. These techniques ensure exceptional communication between our staff—from physicians to environmental services technicians to administrators—which is essential to preventing errors.