ASHRM Client Spotlight: Kevin Smart

September 26, 2016 Sonia Hong and Kaitlyn Whelan

ASHRM is here, and we have another patient safety journey to share with you. Kevin Smart is the Program Manager for Corporate Insurance and Risk at McLaren Health Care located in Flint, Michigan. Often times, it’s people like Kevin who are responsible for pushing new initiatives and processes forward that help keep our hospitals safe. Here is his journey:

I started my career in healthcare when I was living in New York working as an office manager at a physical rehabilitation centre. Eventually, I moved back to Michigan and got my degree in psychology. After doing administration and intake at a youth reform facility for about a year, I was hired as a risk manager at Oakwood Healthcare Systems where I was actually trained to utilize RL.


My supervisor at the time began working at McLaren on centralizing a risk program. McLaren has ten acute care sites, hundreds of urgent care centres and physician offices and a home care group. Each one of these was working independently. So there was really no streamlined approach to risk management, there was no real centralized way of reporting events. Most of them were using paper and some were on other programs, but there was no communication between the sites to look and share information. Historically, a lot of events, being as they were on paper, fell by the wayside. So she brought me over as the program manager of insurance and risk to facilitate that centralization. When I joined, it had been decided that RL was going to be the system to be utilized for this new program.

Today, we have everybody, all ten sites throughout Michigan on the centralized risk program. I think it is a huge accomplishment and one of the things I am most proud of in my career. We had to meet with every hospital, their leadership and their risk person and review their process. Then we had to take all of this into consideration and develop a new universal process that everyone was going to follow. It was a lot of hard work, but we really stuck with it and it's really proving to be successful. We gained a lot of support from our C-Suite as well as the executives at the hospitals, the CEOs, and the other members of senior leadership. Our first site went live back last June and by the end of September, all of our sites were live. We accomplished quite a bit in that year.

Now when we identify any issues, we can share them with the rest of the sites because chances are very good that if it happens at one site, it will happen at another. And if we find a risk or policy needs revision at one site, we address it all sites now. We rely on RL to learn about these events. We also implemented RL6:Feedback, which has been very successful especially when it comes to compliments towards our staff. We really wanted staff to be recognized for a job well done or going above and beyond. Furthermore, we can be more proactive, and identify tracks and trends and start to address things even before they become problems. And that’s when I’m really happy.

I am very proud of the trust and relationships I’ve built with staff. They are able to have confidence coming to me and talking about these serious adverse events. They also trust me to be the go-to person to have these very intense confidential conversations. Having my background in psychology has been such a benefit to my work because healthcare workers are often accustomed to bad outcomes and they don’t know how to get resources to help themselves. So I’ve been able to assist people who have had a really traumatic experience that has taken an emotional toll and try to show them that they are not at fault and help is available.

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