Best Practices to Improve Reporting of Patient Safety Concerns

University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins Medicine looked at what prevented employees from raising patient safety concerns.

Too often, patient safety concerns about their care in medical facilities has gone unreported or under-reported. In response, there is new research about how to fix this.

As Johns Hopkins reports:

“In a case study published online last week in Academic Medicine, an international team of researchers led by the University of Cambridge and Johns Hopkins Medicine looked at what prevented employees from raising concerns. The study identifies measures to help health care organizations encourage their employees to speak up and recommends a systematic approach to promoting employee voice that appears to have already made a positive impact at Johns Hopkins.”

“It’s not enough just to say you’re committed to employee voice. Health care staff must genuinely feel comfortable speaking up if organizations are going to provide safe, high-quality care,” says Mary Dixon-Woods, D.Phil., M.Sc., a professor at the University of Cambridge, director of THIS Institute (The Healthcare Improvement Studies Institute) and the study’s lead author. “Even when reporting mechanisms are in place, employees may not report disruptive behaviors if they don’t feel safe in doing so and don’t think their concerns will be addressed.”

“Because health-care workers often are reluctant to raise concerns about co-workers and unsafe behaviors, leadership at Johns Hopkins Medicine sought to encourage employee voice in the organization by first identifying barriers. To address the issues raised in these interviews, Johns Hopkins leaders developed, implemented, and in some cases expanded a series of interventions from fall 2014 through summer 2016. These interventions included clear definitions of acceptable and unacceptable behavior, well-coordinated reporting mechanisms, leadership training on having difficult conversations, and consistent consequences for disruptive behaviors.”

 

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Best Practices to Improve Reporting of Patient Concerns
Credit: iStock

 

In Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Learn more about breast cancer!!

As we know, October is a very important time for for spreading breast cancer awareness. Thus, this post is in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Let us start with one important resource, the National Breast Cancer Foundation. Click the image to access the site.

In Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

 

Now, we turn to the breast cancer section of the American Cancer Society:

“Whether you or a loved one are worried about developing breast cancer, have just been diagnosed, are going through breast cancer treatment, or are trying to stay well after treatment, this detailed information can help you find the answers you need.”

Click on the image below to learn more about the actual facts of breast cancer, instead of the

Disproven or Controversial Breast Cancer Risk Factors. There are many factors that research has shown are not linked to breast cancer. You may see information online or hear about these disproven or controversial risk factors, but it’s important to learn the facts.”

In Honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Regularly Have Health Exams

What exactly should we be be tested for? To answer that question, we again turn to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Many of know that we should have regular health exams. But what exactly should we be be tested for? To answer that question, we again turn to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

According to the CDC: “It’s time to take charge of your health! Schedule an appointment with your health care provider to discuss what screenings and exams you need and when you need them.”

What Health Services are Recommended?

These links provide information about key exams, screenings, and vaccinations:

 

And these links provide tools to help prepare for your next appointment.

 

Health and Alcohol Do Not Mix Well

We’ve all heard the adage “everything in moderation.” If we want to be healthy, that certainly includes alcohol consumption. Not surprisingly, alcohol consumption by males far exceeds that by females. BE CAREFUL OUT THERE!

According to Niall McCarthy for Statista:

“A major global study published in The Lancet has found the there is no safe level of alcohol consumption. The research compared levels of alcohol use and its impact on health across 195 countries from 1990 to 2016. In many countries, moderate drinking has been associated with health benefits for years and in places like France, a daily glass of red wine has been viewed as good for the heart. “

“Yet, the new research claims that the harmful impact of alcohol far outweighs any benefits with even an occasional drink proving harmful. In 2016, 2.8 million deaths were attributed to alcohol. And it was the leading risk factor for premature mortality and disability among people in the 15-49 age bracket.” 

“The infographic below focuses on the top-10 countries for alcohol attributable deaths. Specifically, it highlights the massive gender gap in mortality. In The United States, alcohol caused 71,00 male deaths and 19,000 female deaths in 2016.”

Health and Alcohol Do Not Mix Well
 

AICR Infographic Resources

Yesterday, we highlighted the video library of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Today, we highlight three of the infographic resources of the American Institute for Cancer Research.

Click the infographics for larger versions.

Cancer Health Checkup

Reducing Cancer Risk Among Men

Reducing Cancer Risk Among Women

Avoid Skin Cancer

Did you know? According to the CDC:

“Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States! But most skin cancers can be prevented. Every year — Nearly 5 million people are treated for skin cancer at a cost of more than $8 billion. There are 76,000 new cases of and 9,000 deaths from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Exposure to ultraviolet (UV) rays—from the sun or from artificial sources like tanning beds—is the most common cause of skin cancer. Anyone, no matter their skin tone, can get skin cancer.”

“Being physically active outside is healthy and can help prevent conditions like obesity. But it’s important to be sun smart when playing and working outdoors. Use a layered approach for sun protection. Seek shade, especially late morning through mid-afternoon. Wear a hat, sunglasses, and other clothes to protect skin. Use broad spectrum sunscreen with SPF 15+ to protect any exposed skin. Sunscreen works best when used with shade or clothes, and it must be re-applied every two hours and after swimming, sweating, and toweling off.”

Avoid Skin Cancer
 

Do YOU Wash Your Hands Well Enough?

For anyone wanting to be more hygienic, washing our hands properly is quite important. Do YOU Wash Your Hands Well Enough? Using Purell or some other hand sanitizer is not enough.
 

Do YOU Wash Your Hands Well Enough?

According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

“A new study from the U.S. Department of Agriculture shows that when it comes to handwashing before meals, consumers are failing to properly clean their hands 97 percent of the time. Rushed handwashing can lead to cross-contamination of food and other surfaces, resulting in foodborne illness.” [WOW!!!]

These are several findings from the USDA:

  • Handwashing — “The study revealed that consumers are not washing their hands correctly 97 percent of the time. Most consumers failed to wash their hands for the necessary 20 seconds. And numerous participants did not dry their hands with a clean towel.”
  • Thermometer use — “Results reveal that only 34 percent of participants used a food thermometer to check that their burgers were cooked properly. Of those who did use the food thermometer, nearly half still did not cook the burgers to the safe minimum internal temperature.”
  • Cross contamination — “The study showed participants spreading bacteria from raw poultry onto other surfaces and food items in the test kitchen. 48 percent of the time are contaminating spice containers used while preparing burgers. 11 percent of the time are spreading bacteria to refrigerator handles. And 5 percent of the time are tainting salads due to cross-contamination.”
  • “The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 48 million Americans are sickened with foodborne illnesses each year, resulting in roughly 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths. Children, older adults and those with compromised immune systems are especially at risk.”

Click the USDA logo to read more.

Be safer!!!