17 May 2019

Improve Patient Safety with Weekly Safety Checks

safetyrounds, patientsafetyrounds

M. Lynn ODonnell - Vice President of Strategic Marketing

Weekly Safety Checks demonstrate an organization's commitment to safety.  Weekly safety checks can be easily completed using a weekly rounding process. 

By conducting weekly safety checks using rounds, a hospital can meet several goals and objectives: 

  1. Highlight and increase awareness on safety issues 
  2. Communicate with staff regarding current safety issues within the hospital 
  3. Prioritize safety 
  4. Educate the team on patient safety concepts
  5. Collect data for actionable and managerial decisions
  6. Take corrective action on issues as they are discovered

A key element in weekly safety checks is that safety is the only goal.  Other rounding initiatives including goals such as patient satisfaction, regulatory readiness, operational excellence, etc., should be completed separately so individuals can focus on one initiative at a time.

How can a hospital institute weekly safety checks? 

  1. Identify Your Team:  Select the necessary personnel to be included in the weekly safety checks.  For most hospitals, it should include an executive, a manager / director, as well as patient safety personnel. 
  2. Schedule Your Weekly Checks:  Weekly checks should occur just as indicated, on a weekly basis.  Use the same day of the week for consistency and schedule checks out at least a year. 
  3.  Complete Weekly Checks:  According to the schedule created, complete the necessary weekly checks, with a single focus on safety and record all data. 
  4. Review Data from Weekly Checks:  Once the safety checks are completed, review the data, determine the safety areas that need correction, and share the data through reports with hospital executives. 
  5. Create an Action Plan or Corrective Plan:  Based on the data collected there may be safety areas that require focus.  Create a plan for corrective action which may include additional rounds until the area is corrected appropriately. 

With a weekly focus on patient safety, an organization can create a framework that executes best practices, communicates across the healthcare network, and is successful in reducing safety issues. 

View our infographic on how one hospital implemented weekly safety checks

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