The Spring 2023 Trustee Quarterly Newsletter is now available, with the main focus on creating a culture of Safety. A board sets the tone for quality and safety within a hospital or health system. While all organizations should be monitoring quality metrics, it is the boards approach that should determine how quality is viewed and progress is made. The Spring Trustee Newsletter takes a deeper dive into today’s culture of safety dealing with “human factors” when mistakes are made. This includes understanding the difference when errors are made due to systems that are ineffective and when an employee is truly negligent. Healthcare professionals found to be negligent need to be held accountable and told their actions are not acceptable. At the same time hospital and health system leaders must continually seek out opportunities to improve systems that do not promote safe, reliable care.
Our Perspective: Providing Access to Quality Information From a Trustworthy Source is a Key Mission for SDAHO.
Part of the South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations (SDAHO) role is to provide access to quality information from trustworthy sources for our members. SDAHO has always been at the forefront in communicating with members about the latest regulatory changes, improvement resources and safety quality metrics on a larger scale. All aimed at helping our members create a culture of safety. SDAHO works as a liaison between our South Dakota Department of Health, federal agencies and members sharing information quickly and efficiently. Earlier this spring information from the SD Office of Licensure and Certification was communicated through SDAHO.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently shared the latest administration information, which SDAHO then circulated to ensure members were aware. This included CMS Quality Safety and Oversight memoranda, guidance, clarifications, and instructions to State Survey Agencies and CMS locations.
Workforce well-being is critical to a culture of safety. A key component of this culture is a partnership between the board, senior leadership and medical staff to establish aligned goals for how the organization will deliver safe, high-quality care. Board actions that aid in these goals include:
- Valuing employee input. No one has better insight into potential improvement opportunities than the employees doing the everyday hard work. Employees must feel valued and heard and have opportunities to impact meaningful change in the organization.
- Investing in technology that strengthens systems, minimizes errors, lessens employees’ workload, and improves the patient care experience.
- Ensuring organizational transparency. Transparent organizations allow employees to see and share information and make suggestions. They communicate strategies and objectives to employees and provide regular updates about progress toward achieving those objectives.
- Ensuring employees are valued and appreciated. While feedback from co-workers is important, positive feedback from management and the executive team plays a crucial role in ensuring that employees feel appreciated.
- Seeking opportunities for providers to practice at the top of their license, shifting from physiciancentric to team-based models that combine physicians with registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, and others.
- Providing ongoing educational opportunities for all employees.
- Ensuring meaningful performance evaluation methods that encourage twoway dialogue, provide positive and constructive feedback, and provide fair and equitable review and compensation.
- Prioritizing employee safety, including an organization-wide zero tolerance policy for workplace violence.
Learn more about the culture of safety, the role of the Board and SDAHO’s role in providing resources and tools to assist our members, by visiting the SDAHO Trustee Resource Center.