Quality & Safety Scoop: Sepsis Project Update

Yes, there are non-COVID-19 patients still out there!

By Bridget M. Norton, M.D., MBA

We would like to provide an update on our organizational sepsis project and the Improving Pediatric Sepsis Outcomes (IPSO) Collaborative. It may not seem like much work is going on outside of COVID-19, but despite many competing priorities, our organizational sepsis work has continued. This work is being led by the Sepsis Steering Committee, which includes Amber Marquiss, Kim Peterson, Carol Beare, Meghan Spencer and me. We have not been able to meet in person because of current restrictions, but it has forced us to move out of our comfort zones and further embrace technology.  Recognizing that this may be our new normal, we have decided that we will be conducting nearly all sepsis work virtually, through the use of WebEx, recorded WebEx sessions and email. Additionally, our area-based work groups will use our new Projectplace platform. 

Work completed thus far:

  • Sepsis kick-off meetings were held March 2 and 3.
  • Subject matter experts helped draft current state process flows for each care area.
  • Current state process flows were sent out to area-based work groups for evaluation and feedback.
  • IPSO Collaborative Baseline Data Mapping used IPSO definitions and guidelines

Next steps:

  • Continue IPSO Baseline Data Mapping and evaluation of the quality of the data with our data/analytics work group.
  • Finalize current state process flows.
  • Begin order set development.
  • Begin designing future state processes for the HUDDLE.

Please reach out to Kim Peterson, Carol Beare or me with any questions you may have.

Quality & Safety Scoop: Reason to Celebrate!

Forty-two children were saved from preventable harm thanks to Children’s hospital-acquired conditions (HAC) work in 2019. HACs are preventable harm events that patients experience while in the hospital. These children were saved from preventable harm, representing a 31 percent decrease from 2018.

The K card initiative to reduce HACs was a major project started last year. We have reached a milestone of more than 1,000 K cards completed.

View a brief K card video (there is no sound)

Children’s has been recognized as ‘highly engaged’ by the Children’s Hospital Association’s Patient Safety Organization (PSO). The PSO has 63 participating children’s hospitals and is designed by pediatric safety leaders to eliminate preventable serious patient harm. Through this work, trends in patient safety events are shared nationally and the PSO works together with hospitals to develop safety alerts to mitigate these risks.

Children’s participation includes:

  • Weekly safety huddles with our 62 peers – similar to Children’s daily safety brief – in which hospitals share urgent safety concerns.
  • PSO monthly safe tables – rotating hospitals share serious safety events and their actions for resolution.
  • Safety alerts – when trends are identified, a safety alert is created for all hospitals to review, assess the risk and create action plans. Two recent samples are included below.

Accidental Burn
Wrong Site Surgeries

 (Thank you all for sharing in our commitment to preserve the privilege and confidentiality protections of these documents so children’s hospitals can learn together.)

These are all amazing accomplishments that required the hard work and dedication of so many people. Congratulations to everyone, and thank you for helping keep our patients safe!

Quality & Safety Scoop: Cause Analysis – When Does it Become an RCA and What Does it Mean?

By Bridget Norton, M.D., MBA, Children’s Chief Quality & Safety Officer

When an Eye on Safety event is reported in RLDatix or communicated to Performance Improvement (PI) or Administration by area leadership, a cause analysis is considered. Cause analysis focuses on the process and system deviations that need to be improved in order for all of us to perform at our best and provide the highest quality care for our patients.

The kind of cause analysis to conduct is the first question. The level of harm to the patient and the potential for system-wide spread of the issue drive the determination of whether the event is reported as Apparent Cause Analysis (ACA), Common Cause Analysis (CCA) or Root Cause Analysis (RCA).

Read more

Quality & Safety Scoop: Patient Safety and Just Culture

By Bridget Norton, M.D., MBA, Children’s Chief Quality & Safety Officer

Dr. Lucian Leape, professor from the Harvard School of Public Health, said, “The single greatest impediment to error prevention in the medical industry is that we punish people for making mistakes.” As an organization, we have committed to moving away from the punitive, reactive type of culture described by Dr. Leape, and toward being proactive, focusing on prevention by embracing what is known as Just Culture.

What is a Just Culture? The term Just Culture refers to a values-supportive system of shared accountability where organizations are accountable for the systems they have designed and for responding to the behaviors of their employees in a fair and just manner. Employees, in turn, are accountable for the quality of their choices and for reporting both errors and system vulnerabilities.

— Outcome Engenuity, LLC. 2013

In a Just Culture:

  • Organizational leaders ensure the design of safe systems (equipment, policies, software, etc.). If the system is flawed or broken it is leadership’s responsibility to fix it.
  • Providers & employees make behavioral choices, determining how they act and react within these systems. They are held accountable for the quality of their choices.
  • At the core of Just Culture is a process for allocating responsibility for events – that is, what is caused by the system, and what is caused by the human component.
  • When events occur, leaders will be asking what, why, and how it happened and there will be an investigation to determine any areas where the system may have broken down, and assess the risk of future events.

As physicians, we must be empowered both as leaders and members of the organization to report events that have already occurred, as well as areas of risk for future events. We must also be supportive of our Just Culture and the other leaders in the organization by focusing on the what, why and how of adverse events, helping to identify opportunities to improve the safety of the system and learn from these events to prevent them from happening in the future.

All providers should have received an email from Chris Maloney, M.D., Ph.D., with instructions on how to sign up in Cornerstone to take the Just Culture class. Physician and APP courses will be offered in November. This course is required for all hospital and Children’s Specialty Physicians staff, but we highly recommend that all members of the medical staff participate, as you are part of the culture of Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to Dr. Maloney, Kim Peterson or me, Bridget Norton, M.D.

Quality & Safety Scoop: RLDatix is Now Live – What’s New for Providers?

On Tuesday, Aug. 27, Quantros retired and RLDatix went live as Children’s new system for reporting adverse events, now called Eye on Safety (EOS) reports. RLDatix is an all-inclusive safety, quality and risk-management software that facilitates the management of adverse events from start to finish. It was designed for health care organizations striving to revolutionize how their patients experience care. The comprehensive, web-based software provides a unified platform to document, manage and report any type of adverse safety event, complaint and compliance issue. 

RLDatix offers features such as icons to simplify event type selection, a file submission tracker to allow submitters the ability to view the status of their reported events, an Epic interface that links the patient’s admission-discharge-transfer (ADT) and medication information and optimized reports for data analytics. The new system is accessible from desktops, Children’s intranet or through Epic. 

See the tip sheet

A new Clinical Care and Management icon has been created specifically for physicians to enter information about any event that occurs concerning the clinical care and management of our patients.  Unlike the rest of the EOS reports, these events will be reviewed by the medical director(s) of the area or areas involved in the event if providers are involved. If the issues are nursing-related, they will be reviewed by the appropriate nursing leader.

When entering the event, select provider or non-provider, then select all of the clinical areas involved. This determines which medical directors review the event. This new icon does not take the place of our existing professional practice evaluation committee (PPEC) screening process and, if appropriate, medical directors will refer events for PPEC screening. The video below demonstrates entering an EOS report by clicking on the Clinical Care and Management icon.

View the video

Reporting events in RLDatix will help us reduce harm and leverage lessons learned across our organization. If you have any questions, please feel free to email Bridget Norton, M.D. Children’s chief Quality & Safety officer, or if you have any other questions or feedback about the system, please email rladmins@childrensomaha.org.

Quality & Safety Scoop

By Bridget M. Norton, M.D., MBA, Children’s Chief Quality & Safety Officer

As members of the Solutions for Patient Safety (SPS), a hospital engagement network collaborative of over 135 pediatric hospitals, we are currently focusing some of our safety efforts on 12 hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) that have been identified as preventable harm events that have significant implications for our patients. For example, published data estimates that 20 percent of unplanned extubations result in an arrest.A 2013 Joint Commission article showed that out of 80,000 ICU patients with a central line infection, 30,000 (37.5 percent) died, and venous thromboembolism can lead to post-thrombotic syndrome which can affect a patient for life. Since its development, it is estimated that the work of the SPS hospitals has saved 11,000 children from harm and saved over $182 million in health care costs. Children’s has been a member since 2012, and our ongoing efforts are championed by the HAC Oversight Committee and its subgroups.

Many providers feel that HAC work is largely in the hands of the nurses or other staff, and physicians don’t have a direct role in preventing them; however, there are actually many things providers can do to support this work. The table below gives some examples of ways we can make an impact. Not all of them will apply to all areas, but no matter where we work, we can all make a difference by supporting the nursing and ancillary staff in their work, answering questions and participating in cause analyses and debriefs when events do occur.

Providers and HACs — What Can You Do?

Adverse Drug EventsUtilize CPOE and verify accuracy every time. Only use verbal orders in emergent situations.
Catheter-Associated Urinary Tract Infections (CAUTI)Remove Foleys within 24 hours if not clinically indicated.
Central Line-Associated Blood Stream Infections (CLABSI)Follow the insertion bundle.
Daily review of the function, utilization and necessity of the line (can it come out?)
Look at the dressing – is it clean/dry/occlusive?
Pressure InjuriesDoes your patient need a specialty bed?
Remember that high-risk patients can still be repositioned with a slight “tilt”
or shift in weight.
Surgical Site Infections (SSI)Ensure appropriate antibiotic timing and re-dosing.
Compliance with bundle & OR sterility policies and procedures.
Unplanned ExtubationsReview extubation readiness with RN/RT/team.
Extubate at the best time for the patient.
Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)For high-risk patients, consider anticoagulation.
Accurately document patients with VTE.
Remember, central lines increase the incidence of VTEs.
Hand HygieneHand hygiene is still the #1 proven way to prevent infection.
Be cognizant of recontamination of your hands within the room after initial hand hygiene has been completed.
Advocate for objects, such as stuffed animals, to be kept out of patient beds.

For more information about our work with SPS or “K cards,” our newest initiative designed to ensure bundle compliance of 90 percent or greater, click here to read more or feel free to contact me via email at Bridget Norton, M.D., with questions or suggestions.

Introducing – The Quality & Safety Scoop

By Bridget M. Norton, MD, MBA, Chief Quality & Safety Officer 

Starting Aug. 1, we will feature a new recurring article in The Pulse discussing different topics related to Children’s ongoing quality and safety work and detailing why it is relevant for physicians. These articles will give a better understanding of the role of the Chief Quality & Safety Officer, while providing further information on the different quality and safety projects underway and more. Please email me with suggestions for topics you would like to hear more about.

In addition, you will see more articles in The Pulse and other publications discussing the latest information on the system level action items perpetually being generated by the work done in RCAs, case reviews, debriefs and variance reviews. Our goal is to make you aware of the systems issues being identified, as well as how they are being addressed, in order to share the lessons learned and improve the care we are providing to our patients.

 If there are other topics you would like to hear more about, please feel free to email me with your ideas and suggestions and keep reading The Pulse for ongoing quality and safety messaging .