• Article
  • September 24, 2018

Patient Safety Tip: The One Voice You Must Consider

Hospital leaders tasked with improving patient safety have a mountain of research and data to consider when formulating safety policies, but according to one hospital leader, there's one voice that must be heard among all the information.

"When you're addressing issues of patient safety, you really need to listen to your front-line staff," says Robin Altman, M.D., FAAP, professor of pediatrics, New York Medical College; chief of general pediatrics and pediatric hospital medicine and medical director of quality and safety at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital in Valhalla, New York. "They are the ones who know the systems the best. They know where the vulnerabilities are and what the risks are to the patient."

Altman and her team at Maria Fareri Children's Hospital took this advice to heart when implementing a successful infant safe sleep program. Everyone—from doctors and nurses to pediatric residents and the child protection team and others—contributed to the effort.

It's a practice that can be applied to other safety initiatives as well. According to Altman, the key is to make sure those with day-to-day patient interactions are involved every step along the way. "It's really important to include front-line staff in work teams, in analysis of processes and development of interventions," Altman says. "They need to be part of the solution."

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