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New Patient Safety Curriculum Being Rolled Out

Cedars-Sinai is rolling out a new patient safety curriculum that standardizes responses to adverse events and helps front-line leaders implement changes to prevent recurrences.

As part of the new curriculum, front-line leaders attend a two-hour educational session that combines lectures and interactive training tailored to each clinical area. The session is gradually being introduced to departmental teams throughout Cedars-Sinai.

Staff from the Newborn Nursery, the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and the Labor and Delivery Department were the first group to receive the training in March. Laboratory Services had two scheduled sessions, and 8OR staff completed training in May.

The new curriculum builds on Cedars-Sinai’s patient safety processes, focusing on leadership’s role in driving a culture of safety through a standardized approach. Pilot areas were identified by the operational vice presidents as part of a directive from the Executive Safety Group, co-chaired by Mark Gavens, executive vice president of Hospital Operations and chief operating officer, and Michael Langberg, MD, senior vice president of Medical Affairs and chief medical officer.

"A need was identified by staff," said Edward G. Seferian, MD, chief patient safety officer. "They want tools so they will know how to respond to an event when it happens on their unit. That was really what the curriculum was designed to do."

A central component of the new patient safety course is an immediate risk-mitigation checklist that guides leaders through a standardized process of follow-up. It helps pinpoint, immediately after an adverse medical event, where a breakdown occurred and whether the service that was delivered is safe for the next patient. The program also helps leaders provide support to staff in the emotional aftermath of an event.

Another program aim is to foster a work environment in which staff members feel comfortable speaking up and sharing their candid recollections of events. People need to feel safe in order to call attention to processes and behaviors that could place patients at risk, said Marle Shelton-Hoff, director of affiliate quality relations, who spearheaded the development of the new patient safety curriculum in collaboration with nursing leadership and Sagar Sable, patient safety program manger.

The program has been well received.

"We received positive feedback from the pilot attendees and are looking forward to rolling the course out to all clinical areas," Shelton-Hoff said.

Charles Simmons Jr., MD, chair of the Department of Pediatrics and director of the Division of Neonatology, has taken the training, and said the program provides practical tools for managing difficult circumstances. Following the training, Simmons’ team quickly put the program to the test.

"We were able to utilize [the curriculum] within 48 hours of when the training had concluded," Simmons said. "We were quite pleased with how readily the materials and conceptual framework could be applied to the situation."

If you have questions, contact Shelton-Hoff at 310-423-2059 or marle.shelton-hoff@cshs.org.