Opportunity Knocks: Using Reporting Data During EPIC Implementation to Drive Improvements in Patient Safety

Change brings tremendous opportunity. However, change can also carry the risk of things falling through the cracks, like losing an important box during a big move. In healthcare major change has higher stakes, including patient safety.  

The risks associated with change had the team at Brigham & Women’s Faulkner Hospital, a non-profit teaching facility in Boston, very focused when the time came to make the massive switch to EPIC. Part of the challenge was that implementing a new electronic health system is a massive undertaking — and one that does not happen very often. The planning process took over a year.  

“It’s worth taking a step back, thinking about what’s out there in terms of the patient safety literature,” says Christi Barney, Director of Patient Safety, Quality, Infection Control and Accreditation at the hospital.  

The team not only rose to the challenge of moving to a new electronic health system, they also seized the change as an opportunity to increase awareness and bring more attention to patient safety across the organization. By creating webinars, posters and a "Last Week in Patient Safety" newsletter before going live, the team encouraged staff to report. Creating a customized form for event reporting that allowed staff to flag incidents, and providing individualized responses in near-real time, reassured everyone involved that there was a closed loop in term of reporting.  

“We already felt like our staff has a pretty good sense of the important of reporting. But we wanted to make sure this really didn’t lapse during the overwhelming period of implementing a new EHR,” says Tayla Hough, Patient Safety Consultant.  

Helping staff prepare for the change also involved taking the time to celebrate successes, by giving shout-outs to good catches.  

The result was a 25 percent increase in reporting engagement from front line staff and a strategy that ensured that patient safety was the top priority during the transition period.  

To learn more about the transition, including how the team captures hand-off related events, check out the full webinar


About the Author

Fernanda is part of the team that drives RL's marketing programs, including webinars, email marketing and online advertising. In her free time, you'll find her curled up with a book or dancing up a storm.

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