Friday, October 7, 2016

Creating a Culture of Patient Safety


On October 4, I was pleased to see the University Town Center turn out to celebrate the great work of one of our associates, Laura (Laurie) Want, MSN, RN, CDE, CCRC, BC-ADM. She was surprised by the associates, joined by Dr. Dave Mayer, VP of Quality and Safety for MedStar Health, to receive the Josie King HeRO Award, in honor of her commitment to patient safety and her part in making MedStar Health a high reliability organization.

For those of you who attend the spring MHRI town halls at UTC and Union Memorial, the story should be familiar. Laurie is one of the staff of MCCRC on their diabetes research projects (and has been for 24 years!). As part of her routine with patients, she weighs them and notice with one particular patient that he had a foot injury. Since he is diabetic, and previously had a toe amputated, this patient was at high-risk for a serious adverse event due to this injury.

Laurie was able to spring into action to care for this patient, calling for Dr. Jean Park to asses the injury and determine what next steps should be. With Dr. Park’s assent and persuasion, the patient was seen the same day at the Georgetown Foot and Wound Center for treatment and follow-up. While this particular patient was the one saved from this potential serious event, the MCCRC has gone one step further and begun introducing a protocol to help catch this type of issue early in the process.

While Laurie jokes that this saved her some paper work from an adverse event, she was quick to point out that when patients participate in research, we are not just treating patients for their one illness or disease. We are treating them as a whole person and a member of a family and that we have a responsibility to care for them in a way that supports their total health.


Congratulations to Laurie and the MCCRC team for showing care for our patients, along with doing your part of advance the health (and care) of our community.




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