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At Cincinnati Children’s, safety is the responsibility of everyone. Safety is not “owned” by any individual or team, nor is it limited to patient units or other high-risk environments. Safety belongs to each and every one of us − from the chair of our board to a newly hired employee − and this principle enables us to change our system.
Using a model of distributed ownership in which the institution as a whole is doing the work that will allow us to achieve our safety goals, we have organized ourselves to maximize our effectiveness and impact.
The Safety Oversight Group (SOG) is comprised of senior leaders from across the organization and is charged with ensuring that the institution meets its strategic safety goals. The SOG reviews all serious safety events, ensuring timely implementation of system changes and corrective action plans, and helps set the safety strategy for the organization. It evaluates patient and staff safety concerns that have been escalated to it and removes barriers to improvement.
Reporting to the SOG are teams charged with varying aspects of the safety mission.
The patient and employee safety teams are comprised of safety professionals charged with operationalizing the safety aspects of the institution’s strategic plan. The teams work together to incorporate high reliability principles into daily operations for both clinical and nonclinical leadership and staff.
Always Ready, Always Safe
This multidisciplinary team works to ensure the delivery of safe care at all times to our patients. It integrates accreditation, safety and clinical professionals and ensures compliance with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and Joint Commission standards. The team members focus on engaging, empowering and informing content area experts through coaching and building accountability.
This team is comprised of senior leaders, safety staff, accreditation and frontline staff and clinical engineering. All aspects of the patient care environment are evaluated by the team, which reviews the purchase, commissioning and decommissioning of all patient equipment. The patient care environment is regularly surveyed for potential sources of patient harm through the use of a standardized tool.
Stephen Muething, MD, vice president for safety at Cincinnati Children's, answers questions about his role.
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