Solving Patient Safety Issues

The NorthCrest Medical Center in Springfield Tennessee was able to use information available from the Agency for Health Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) “Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program” (CUSP) used to address 24 patient safety problems.

“We use CUSP exclusively to accomplish just about anything,” said Randy Davis, NorthCrest’s CEO. “CUSP is an evidence based method that helps clinical teams address safety issues by combining clinical best practices and the science of safety.”

The 109 bed NorthCrest complete with a certified wound care center had struggled with pressure ulcers for several years before implementing CUSP principles in 2012 to address the problem. Improvements were noted within three weeks by administrators.

The team then assembled a team to focus on Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections    (CAUTI). After experiencing ten CAUTIs in 2012, NorthCrest reduced the number of CAUTIs quickly and were able to keep CAUTIs reduced after CUSP processes were introduced. The result was that in 2016, the Medical Center had only one case of CAUTI.

According to Angela Beard, R.N., Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer for NorthCrest, “We identified early in the program that educating the staff on safety is critical. In addition, we perform a root analysis on everything that causes patient harm to learn from our mistakes and to prevent similar errors or defects to take place in our care.”

Also, NorthCrest has used CUSP methods to tackle a variety of issues, including central line-associated bloodstream infections, ventilator-associated pneumonia, medication errors, and readmissions.

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