The road to high reliability — exceptional consistency in accomplishing safety goals and avoiding errors — is paved, in part, by safety coaches.
Safety coaches are designated clinical care staff who actively engage their peers in quality and safety initiatives. This can range from reminding colleagues to wash their hands before interacting with a patient to assisting with process-improvement tools like the online patient safety reporting system.
After a successful trial run at the UF Health Shands Psychiatric Hospital, the UF Health Sebastian Ferrero Office of Clinical Quality and Patient Safety team is rolling out the program to other clinical departments at UF Health Shands.
“Our goal is to involve frontline employees so that safety and quality concerns are not reserved just for the quality department,” said Brad Green, a Clinical Risk Management coordinator. “We’re equipping staff with the tools and resources they need to identify and report risks, make improvements and advance safety initiatives on a daily basis.”
The Quality department is looking for employees who are experts in their field, respected by their peers, have leadership abilities and are interested in quality and safety initiatives. Safety coaches will receive training in patient safety reporting; TeamStepps, a curriculum that improves teamwork and enhances patient safety; Just Culture, a training method used when responding to errors; and other quality and safety improvement tools.
“High reliability embodies the idea that we’re all supposed to be coaching and committed to speaking up when we see something unsafe,” said Sue Keating, Clinical Risk Management director. “We’re working on developing a culture where staff constantly look for, report and get involved in fixing faulty systems.”
Becoming a highly reliable organization necessitates a culture change. Join the journey — email Keating at firstname.lastname@example.org to start your safety coach training.