Apr 28 2011

Knowledge is Power

Managing patient safety risk begins with reporting

Health System employees are not strangers to the importance of patient safety, and new statistics from Risk Management show we’re working hard to advance risk reduction. Last year alone, 17,000 Patient Safety Reports were submitted by UMHS staff to identify possible “adverse events,” or situations where a patient’s care may have been compromised.

“In order to have a great program, staff have to report all of it — the incidents and the near misses,” says Risk Management Director Susan Anderson.

The department is designed “to advance risk reduction and enhance patient safety” — shorthand for proactively preventing the risk of accidents and improving the chance that the patient environment is safe.

Of the reports filed last year, 6,400 were defined as “near misses”— unplanned events that did not result in injury, illness or damage, but had the potential to do so. Risk Management staff receive about 100 calls a day and 4,500 pages a year about adverse events such as falls, device malfunctions and more – the kinds of issues common to a health care setting. Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 21 2011

Women and Children First

Loree Collett strives to make a difference in the Health System’s new hospital

Administrative Director Loree Collett holds a countdown clock to count the days until the opening of the new children's and women's hospital.

When Loree Collett, R.N., BSN, MSBA, began her nursing career at the Health System in 1987 as a staff nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit, she never dreamed she’d be involved in building a state-of-the-art women’s and children’s hospital. Twenty-four years later – 16 of them in patient care – her clinical experience and expertise made her the right candidate for the job.

“As a clinical person, it’s a great opportunity to help the architects design a new hospital,” Collett says. “Being selected to lead it is a once-in-a-lifetime responsibility.” Read the rest of this entry »

Apr 8 2011

DrFirst Puts Patients First

Electronic-prescribing rolls out across ambulatory care units

If you’re a patient at the Health System and were recently seen in clinic, you may have already experienced the benefits of your provider sending prescriptions directly to your pharmacy – electronically. It’s fast, easy and you won’t have to worry about the pharmacist misreading your physician’s handwriting.

A new application called DrFirst began rolling out across ambulatory care clinics last October and will be complete in May.

Thanks to the DrFirst implementation team:

  • Karen Bogarin
  • Cheryl Dehmlow
  • Karyn Haas
  • Paula Hiller
  • Elizabeth Lind
  • Pat Lyons
  • Tracy Partridge-Weitschat
  • Matt Plachta
  • Lisa Poon-Konrad
  • Viji Ramaswami
  • Anne Ritter
  • Linda Roth
  • Melinda Seiler
  • Susan Sell
  • Carol Strong

DrFirst lets health care providers, with the support of clinic staff, create and renew prescriptions and electronically transmit them to pharmacies. Why is this important to patients? E-prescribing improves patient satisfaction, increases patient safety and helps our clinics become more efficient.

Because the Health System met criteria set by the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services by the end of last year, it will earn more than $1.5 million in incentives. Similarly, it has already earned another $850,000 in incentives this year.

The activation of DrFirst is a large and complex effort involving nearly all ambulatory care employees and an implementation team.

“Moving to e-prescribing is the right thing to do,” says Philip Zazove, M.D., Professor and interim chair of Family Medicine. “This is a great test as the Health System moves toward implementing Mi-Chart. We’re learning and improving how we implement new clinical technology in Ambulatory Care.”

Over 150,000 e-prescriptions were written in DrFirst by the end of January, well before all areas activated the new application. Zazove says for the most part patients are very pleased.

“They understand the safety aspect and get prescriptions more quickly. We know up front if insurance will cover costs. The application tells us if drugs need prior approval, if the patient has allergies, or whether the patient takes other drugs that could result in a life-threatening interaction,” he says.

DrFirst links to Surescripts, the nation’s largest e-prescription network. In the future, you’ll be able to safely fill a prescription anywhere in the country with full access to your prescription history.

Apr 8 2011

Faculty Career Development Resources and Website Now Available

Now – all in one place and available 24×7 – resources help faculty achieve success in their careers and increase job satisfaction.

A new website brings together all professional development opportunities (from the Medical School and beyond) in a searchable database for one-stop shopping. The site also houses videos, podcasts and slides from programs throughout the year for those not able to attend. Faculty can find articles, guidelines and other tools to help with teaching, writing, funding, building a national reputation and more: Read the rest of this entry »