Redcing preventable harm, department by department

Pharmacy contributes to significant patient safety improvements through lean management system

Quality is a key component (along with people, service, finance and growth) of Hallmark Health System’s commitment to service excellence. To improve quality, Hallmark Health has established a long-term goal of reducing incidents of preventable harm;each department is looking for ways to contribute to the goal.

The pharmacy department has become an early adopter of the organization’s lean management system and is working on three projects using root cause problem solving to improve quality, explained Michelle Corrado, PharmD, MHA, system director of pharmacy services:

PROJECT 1: Patients at high risk for readmission (such as those with heart failure or pneumonia) receive a consultation with a pharmacist. “Many patients are onScpic2 complex medication regimens and we want to be sure they know about how to take their medications once they leave the hospital.”

RESULT: When the program began in February, 38 percent of patients were receiving counseling; by the end of September, 71 percent were.

PROJECT 2: Patients who are relatively immobile receive appropriate blood-thinning medications. “All inpatients are evaluated as to whether they are at low or high risk of getting a blood clot during their hospital stay.”

RESULT: When the program began in October 2014, 49 percent of patients were having their clotting status documented and addressed; by the end of September, 98 percent were.

PROJECT 3: Inpatients needing the antibiotic vancomycin get just the right amount. “We measure creatinine levels to make sure a patient is not getting too much of the drug, which could cause toxicity.”

RESULT: When the program began in February, 8.4 percent of patients needing vancomycin had elevated creatinine levels; by the end of September, the percent had been reduced to zero.


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