Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Catching on to patient safety and quality at MedStar

The folks at MedStar Health have engaged in an extensive and intensive effort to be the safest, highest quality, and most transparent system in the country.  You'll here more about that over the coming months and years.  Like some other hospitals, MedStar has introduced a "good catch" award.  More than just recognizing the call-outs of front line staff, this kind of program builds team spirit and a sense of community.  I print below the announcement of the most recent award.  It is a very nice description, but, as a friend relates, the human story behind this is that the patient, who thought she would have to live on medication, is "a terrific young woman just happy she could rock climb, be a mom and have her nails done without having to worry about the risks associated with a life on Coumadin."

When Sorrel King heard about this call-out, she contacted Donna and sent her one of the Josie King necklaces in appreciation--"a reminder of all things positive."  Such a nice gesture that, I'm sure, was warmly appreciated!  Here's the story:

Donna Shifflett at MedStar Montgomery Hospital Awarded “Good Catch” Patient Advocacy Award December 2012

Throughout all our MedStar hospitals, we know our associates are constantly working to contain potential harm to our patients. It is this type of constant mindfulness that will move MedStar from Good to Great, as well as prove ourselves to be a highly reliable healthcare organization. 

In 2013, MedStar Health is looking for every opportunity to reward those who go above and beyond in their vigilance for patient well-being. As such, we have launched our system-wide Patient Safety Hero Recognition Program and want to hear about all the good things happening in our hospitals.  Look for more information on the full program in next month’s Patient Safety & Quality Newsletter. 

Our first Good Catch Award goes to Donna Shifflett, a senior coder at MedStar Montgomery Hospital, who was recognized in December of last year for catching a coding discrepancy that had direct impact on a patient’s quality of life. When Donna noticed that a young woman had been diagnosed with a pulmonary embolism, but that the corresponding radiology report negated that diagnosis, she contacted the attending physician immediately alerting him of the contradicting information. The patient was subsequently called back in for evaluation, and when Donna’s suspicions were confirmed, the anti-coagulant medications that had been started were discontinued. 

Thanks to the mindfulness of Donna Shifflett, this young woman’s life was returned to normal. She is truly a leader and patient safety hero, and we look forward to hearing similar stories throughout MedStar.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

And what was done about the process for assuring that physicians read radiology reports? It's great that this error was caught but why did it happen at all?