Washington hospitals share progress on patient safety

The Washington Patient Safety Coalition hosted the 16th annual Northwest Patient Safety Conference last week. People who want to stay engaged with the Coalition can sign up for its newsletter here.

The conference, focused on “propelling patient safety into the future,” featured nine breakout sessions, three keynotes, and posters featuring patient safety efforts in local care settings.

Legacy Health, Seattle Children’s Hospital, and University of Washington were among the organizations that highlighted efforts to improve patient safety.

Legacy Health Salmon Creek Medical Center

Salmon Creek Medical Center shared its efforts on reducing readmissions from the emergency department. The project aimed to ensure patients received the right care at the right time in the right setting. In order to be most effective, Salmon Creek implemented multi-component interventions.

These strategies included:

  • creating a system to quickly identify patients at risk for a 30-day readmission
  • requesting medical necessity reviews to determine if admission or readmission was appropriate
  • working with the patient’s medical home to create advance care planning and follow-up appointments
  • working with Managed Medicaid community partners to make over 1,000 referrals
  • nursing leadership creating an interdisciplinary readmission prevention-focused collaborative
  • considering alternatives to readmission by use of the ED Readmission Algorithm

Salmon Creek saw a reduction of almost 25 percent in its 12-month rolling 30-day readmission rate.

Seattle Children’s Hospital

Seattle Children’s Hospital shared progress on improving physician reporting of safety events. A complex reporting system and duplicative work created barriers to physician reporting.

Through a four-phase approach, which included identifying the barriers to reporting, simplifying the reporting process, updating training materials and reporting expectations, and implementing a “safety pause” at the end of the shift to acknowledge safety concerns, Seattle Children’s has improved the reporting rate from 5 percent to 37 percent.

Seattle Children’s continues to work towards excellence in improving physician reporting.

UW Medicine Pharmacy Services

The University of Washington shared the results of its Multidisciplinary Post Percutaneous Coronary Intervention (PCI) Discharge Program.

Following a PCI, dual antiplatelet therapy (DAPT) is typically prescribed for a minimum of twelve months. UW worked to improve prescription refill rates and decrease hospital readmission rates.

The program ensures that patients receive medication teaching by an inpatient cardiology pharmacist and have a follow-up appointment at the cardiology clinic also scheduled before they are discharged.

If the patient keeps the appointment, the DAPT refill is written. If the appointment is missed, the clinic staff reports the missed appointment to the clinical pharmacist, who then refills the prescription and notifies the patient of the available refill and the missed appointment.

After the program was implemented, pick-up rates for the discharge medication increased from about 83.3 percent to 93.1 percent. Pick-up rates for the first refill increased from 60.9 percent to 81.5 percent.

Hospital readmission rates for a cardiovascular complaint within six months of discharge decreased from 27.6 percent to 11.8 percent.

The program also saw increased improvements in medically vulnerable populations, namely non-white and non-English speaking patients.