Healthcare Quality and Risk Departments Teaming Up for Safer Care

November 1, 2022 RLDatix Marketing

Hospital Staff Meeting

In healthcare, safer care can only be achieved with buy-in from across the organization. Risk mitigation begins with a collaborative and cohesive approach between functions to gather hard data to be turned into insights to inform leadership’s decision-making process. Risk mitigation is executed by clinicians who closely adhere to policy changes put in place to prevent future harm. 

Most healthcare organizations have a handle on collecting data. With the newly launched RLDatix CatalixTM platform, organizations will be able to collect and view data holistically, bridging gaps between departments and consolidating data to produce meaningful insights. Providing clear and digestible insights to key decision-makers allows them to address immediate issues in policies and processes and have the information they need to make proactive changes to prevent future issues.  

Preventing Risk – Shifting from a Reactive to Proactive Approach  

Information coordination is a key part of reducing risk , improving patient satisfaction, and preventing future incidents from occurring. With a robust patient safety software, such as RLDatix, interactive modules can link files and produce data for better information coordination. 

Patient Scenario:  A patient is admitted into the hospital for a normal labor and delivery.  Develops moderate hypotension, treated with intravenous medication. Shortly after, patient’s blood pressure increases causing a clinical deterioration and the need for an emergency c-section. During the safety huddle the following morning, it is learned that the high blood pressure was likely triggered by a medication error. 

Integrated Solution:  An organization equipped with RLDatix solutions can use the software to identify and capture the adverse event, analyze it with built-in tools and suggest risk reduction policies. It can also initiate CANDOR protocols while communicating with the patient and family and implement immediate peer support for the clinicians When the incident is identified staff can submit an incident and then trigger a Root Cause Analysis within the RCA module. Once the risks are identified and analyzed, this information can be used to create and manage a new policy directly within the software. With data captured and a new policy in place around this event, an organization is better equipped to get ahead and prevent similar events from happening in the future.   In the above scenario, the medication error was identified during a safety huddle and the pharmacy team was able to immediately implement a medication change in the pyxis along with an organization level alert to all staff notifying them of the change, thereby stopping another medication error from happening to another patient. By having a connected organization, they not only stopped another harm event, but they were able to openly communicate with the patient and family and provide much needed peer support to the clinician.

Zero harm is only achievable through prevention. RLDatix’s insights and capabilities will usher in a new era of future-forward patient safety.   

Risk & Quality Collaboration: The Financial Impact  

Collaboration between risk and quality teams is paramount to providing high quality healthcare. Without it, the financial and reputational implications for healthcare organizations can be astronomical. 

A 2006 report from the IOM indicates that 1.5 million injuries or deaths occur each year in the United States. These events were a result of error in prescribing, administering and dispensing of medications. Leading healthcare economist,  Adam E. Block writes that “based on projections of medical errors, actuarial estimates of costs for hospitals, and the potential reductions in costs due to known, evidence-based interventions, the total potential savings for the four major types of medical errors is $4,832,802 per 100,000 admissions, or a total of almost $48,328 for every 1,000 hospital admissions per year.”  

Beyond the enormous operating costs associated with lower quality healthcare, organizations are financially incentivized to avoid medical errors.  An increase in federal payment initiatives linked to healthcare quality such as value-based purchasing, provisions that exclude the costs associated with hospital-acquired conditions and financial penalties associated with high rates of patient readmission within 30 days of the patient being discharged for the treatment of specific conditions are all factors encouraging organizations’ quality and risk departments to partner together.   

Efforts to enhance quality improvement have resulted in a need for collaboration between quality and risk teams across the continuum of care. Some of these initiatives include “The Leapfrog Group's public hospital reporting initiatives to assist healthcare purchasers, the National Quality Forum's (NQF) serious reportable events and recommendations of safe practices for healthcare organizations, and the National Committee for Quality Assurance's (NCQA) quality measures (called the Healthcare Effectiveness Data and Information Set, or HEDIS) for managed care.”  

The Future of Collaboration Between Quality and Risk Teams   

The relationship between risk and quality in healthcare will continue to have an impact on how organizations effectively support their patient safety and quality initiatives. The benefits of this collaboration are numerous, but some of the most notable include: 

  • Improved patient outcomes – When quality and risk teams work together, they can more effectively identify potential problems and develop solutions that improve patient outcomes. 
  • Increased efficiencies – By collaborating, both quality and risk professionals can focus on their unique functions within an organization, while also supporting each other’s work. This collaboration can lead to increased efficiency and efficacy overall. 
  • Safer patient care – One of the most important benefits of collaboration between quality and risk teams is that it can help make patient care safer. By working together, these teams can support each other’s work and improve patient outcomes.  

RLDatix provides healthcare providers with an enterprise-wide risk management solution to strengthen collaboration between risk and quality teams for better, safer patient care. RLDatix’s suite of products can help reduce healthcare-acquired infections, report on adverse events, ensure patient safety learnings are deployed effectively and immediately through dynamic policy and procedure management and help provide immediate emotional first aid to clinicians. 

Learn how RLDatix can support your proactive risk and quality initiatives.

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