Thursday, July 7, 2016

A Community of Hospital Safety Champions


By Mia Arias, MPA, National Health Foundation Director of Programs
For seven years, Patient Safety First (PSF) has provided hospital staff with an opportunity come together, learn from each other, and share success stories and best practices all in the name of providing safe, quality care to patients that step through the doors of their hospitals. As a statewide collaborative, PSF has provided over 200 in-person meetings, webinars and calls to support hospitals’ improvement efforts.
Many times, the faces you see at these regional meetings change, but there are some that become very familiar. One such face is that of Donna Young. Donna is Director, Performance Improvement at Chino Valley MedicalCenter. Donna has been an RN for sixty years and attests to seeing a lot of changes in healthcare during that time. For the past seven years she has consistently attended PSF meetings in the Southern California region. I had the opportunity to sit down with Donna and ask her a few questions about her experience participating in PSF, what effect it has had on her work and why she makes coming to these meetings a priority.                  
How has PSF supported quality improvement efforts at Chino Hospital? 
“PSF provides us practical tools to drive improvement, it also enables us to have good data to present to our staff and medical board. Our leadership often asks, how does our data compare with local and national hospital programs? PSF provides a credible comparison point.I really appreciate the consistency of the PSF goals and how the program stays relevant to changes in performance improvement measures and requirements. PSF is a very reliable resource.”
What are some of the practices your hospital has undertaken to effect positive patient safety changes?
“We focus on safety at every single staff meeting and understand that building and supporting a culture of safety is paramount to ensuring we provide the highest quality of care to our patients. We use the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) survey on patient safety culture to asses where staff are and we’ve seen great results. Chino Valley Medical Center recently received three awards recognizing our successes in safety, including the Truven Top 100 Hospitals, 2015 Women’s Choice Award for Emergency Care and HealthgradesPatient Safety Excellence Award™ Winner 2016. Our involvement with PSF has helped us both achieve and demonstrate our improvement.”
In your experience what has been the single best component of PSF and why?
“I like the peer-to-peer learning aspect. Working at a fast pace in a hospital can sometimes feel isolating. Coming to these meetings and networking with your peers helps take you out of your routine. You find people you can talk to about the same issues you might be experiencing. PSF is a community, so when you are asked to present, you feel comfortable because you are in front of your peers. It is still a challenge, but a good one that expands your competencies.”
As we finished our discussion, Donna told me that she certainly hopes PSF continues for many years. For her, and for many of the hospitals that participate in the free, statewide collaborative the resources and information they receive is just as valuable as the networking and social aspects of the program. PSF truly is a community.
Patient Safety First (PSF) is a groundbreaking partnership between National Health Foundation, California’s Regional Hospital Associations, Anthem Blue Cross and over 160 hospitals across the state. The efforts of Patient Safety First have been recognized by several awards, most notably the esteemed 2013 John M. Eisenberg Patient Safety and Quality Award from the National Quality Forum and The Joint Commission, for the demonstrated Phase 1 accomplishments of its first three years (2010-2012).


  1. Thanks for sharing the article. The tips and thoughts shared are very useful. As mentioned the peer to peer experience definitely brings a lot of change, wherein people belonging to the same community share their thoughts. Being a support executive working for a health firm (i.e :- Nextdoorlab I found this concept very helpful