Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Always Events® on WIHI

Always Events®: Raising Expectations for Patient Experience​
September 8, 2011, 2:00 PM – 3:00 PM Eastern Time

Lucile O. Hanscom, Executive Director, Picker Institute

Dale Shaller, MPA,
Principal, Shaller Consulting Group

Martha Hayward,
Lead for Public-Patient Engagement, Institute for Healthcare Improvement

Gaye Smith,
Chief Patient Experience and Service Officer, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Anthony M. DiGioia, MD,
Founder, The Orthopaedic Program and Innovation Center, Magee-Womens Hospital of UPMC

Most of us are familiar with the National Quality Forum’s list of Serious Reportable Events in health care — often referred to as “Never Events.” There’s a wide consensus that everything from performing surgery on the wrong patient or wrong site, to a medication error-induced death, to a physical assault aren’t only tragic and harmful, they are not supposed to happen. Period. It’s a strong statement about patient safety and what the system as a whole should not be willing to tolerate. And, by extension, it’s a call to action to do better and to take care of patients differently so that terrible things do not occur. 

There are, of course, many ways to draw a line in the sand or to envision the health care system patients deserve and that providers want to work in. One of the most innovative in the last few years has been the Picker Institute’s development of a concept they’ve dubbed “Always Events®.” First conceived in 2009, Always Events® are activities and processes that should routinely be part of patient care and the patient and family experience, to ensure optimal communication, discharge, handoffs, transitions, health literacy, and more.

WIHI is pleased to welcome the Picker Institute’s Executive Director, Lucile Hanscom, to the program on September 8, along with consultant Dale Shaller, who has an extensive history developing benchmarks and measurement systems for patient-centered care. They’ll be joined by dynamic leaders from two organizations that have received Always Events Challenge Grants: Gaye Smith of Vanderbilt University Medical Center and Tony DiGioia of the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC).

Dr. DiGioia’s groundbreaking improvements at UPMC are anchored in a first of its kind patient- and family-centered methodology. Picker’s support is helping to integrate these processes into the hospital’s transplant program. The grant-funded work at Vanderbilt is targeting better communication and collaboration between patients, family members, and providers to prevent patient falls during hospital stays. Gaye Smith will describe the overarching strategy this work fits into, including an effort now underway at Vanderbilt to develop an “always promise” from the hospital to patients and families to make good on reliable and patient-centered care.  

The program’s guest roster wouldn’t be complete without Martha Hayward. Martha’s been working with IHI in 2011 to help shape public and patient engagement, drawing on her own history as a patient and as a strong and effective leader in Massachusetts.

Please mark your calendars for this first WIHI after a summer break. We look forward to your participation!

To enroll, please click here.


Richard Zarbo said...

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Bart Windrum said...

Hi Paul,

I find the notion of expectations particularly dangerous in the medical context. Mine have been dashed 4 times in a row and while as a PA (let alone a probable future patient) I applaud efforts like Always Events, I betcha that "always" is out there like the North Star, a pinpoint for guidance for those who even look up and then know where to turn. You know better than I the nature of institutions, but I remain scarily wary. Since the job of a PA / family member / advocate requires split-second readiness to intervene, the idea of positive expectations is like a drug dulling our senses. So, good effort, bad choice of language IMO. I don't think applying the language of hope to institutional settings (distinct from medical outcomes) does the citizenry any good.