Regardless of your specialty, or where you go to work each day, the structure for keeping your patients safe is built upon a few basic pillars:
- always keeping the patient’s needs in the foreground
- communication (including documentation)
- continuous systems improvement
- acknowledging and learning from mistakes
- peer support and training
The foundation underneath those pillars is the culture in which you and your colleagues practice. Below are a few questions you might ponder to ensure that your workplace foundation is rock solid.
- What are best practices for expressing safety concerns or “stopping the line”?
- How do we track consults/referrals through to follow up?
- How do we maximize safety during patient or information handoffs?
- Am I aware of our process for disclosing errors to patients and family members?
- How do I make sure that my patients understand me (and vice versa)?
- What are we doing to identify and address symptoms of burnout within our practice?
Thinking about these questions—and discussing them with your colleagues—should bolster your confidence that you and your patients are interacting under optimal circumstances. And if you do detect opportunities for improvement, that’s an ideal chance to tap into the risk management expertise and resources available within your organization or here at CRICO.