Identify and reduce patient safety threats before they manifest in actual harm

Hospital acquired injuries are the third leading cause of death behind cardiovascular disease and cancer. We believe that a multi-disciplinary effort on eliminating preventable harms will improve quality outcomes, provider efficiency, and team communication –  to ensure our patients stay safe at BWH. Our team aims to implement a Patient Safety Checklist Tool for clinicians and families in the Medicine, Oncology, and Intensive Care Units. The Tool is actually a suite of applications: a checklist, clinician dashboard, and patient dashboard that will encourage a multi-disciplinary focus on preventing avoidable harms such as hospital acquired infections and blood clots.
While an electronic rounding checklist will spur discussion of important topics during rounds, it will also feed information to two critical dashboards: (1) A Patient Dashboard will display personally tailored safety reminders and educational content on a bedside tablet or monitor. These interactive portals will empower patients and their families to be in control of their care. (2) A Clinician Dashboard will give the clinicians real-time information throughout the day on the compliance with the orders and interventions that address the safety concerns underscored by the Checklist. This will allow clinicians to identify high-risk states at the unit-wide and patient-specific levels so that risks can be addressed before they manifest in harm.

Developing tools to engage patients, family, and care team members

We are currently working with a team from the Healthcare Systems Engineering program at Northeastern University to consider human factors and usability in the development of our Checklist and Dashboard tools. A pilot version will be implemented in the Medical Intensive Care Unit in the Fall of 2015 and spring of 2016. The pilot implementation will provide an opportunity to enhance the software and to correct any bugs.
We are determined to make our tools as user-friendly as possible so that our clinicians, patients and families can focus on staying safe and improving health. We have held multiple focus groups and interviews with patients, clinicians, and the Patient Family Advisory Council at BWH to continually gather feedback to our tools. This iterative development process captures the spirit of our goal to engage everyone involved in patient care.


This project is supported by grant number P30HS023535 from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. | © 2015