Safety

How Truman became a high reliability hospital: The three-year program to build a safety culture

Healthcare Life Safety Compliance, March 25, 2021

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

by Brian Ward

What does it take to turn an already well-performing hospital into a high reliability organization (HRO)? In 2016, the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) decided to undertake a three-year project to find out.

For the project, they used the high reliability hospital (HRH) model developed by the VHA’s National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS). The HRH model is open to the public and is based on HRO principles—leadership commitment, a culture of safety, and unit-based process improvement.

The HRH model consists of 10 parts (check out this article to learn more about each step):

  1. A baseline and yearly assessment, including a patient safety site visit
  2. A patient safety culture assessment
  3. Annual frontline staff root cause analysis (RCA) training
  4. Leadership walk-arounds
  5. Monthly patient safety forums
  6. Annual assessment of infrastructure and processes for standardization
  7. Just culture training
  8. Clinical team training (CTT) for all units
  9. Unit-based improvement project implementation and monitoring
  10. CTT simulation training

Truman VA Medical Center in Columbia, Missouri, a 126-bed facility with 1,600 employees and 54 units, agreed to implement the HRH project with the hope it would improve patient safety and care quality. As the study reports, it did.

This is an excerpt from a member only article. To read the article in its entirety, please login or subscribe to Healthcare Life Safety Compliance.

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