Washington Hospital Center takes steps to reduce medical errors

Washington Hospital Center, along with many other hospitals across the nation, is using innovative methods to reduce medical errors and catch near misses, according to The Washington Post.

According to the article, while the hospital scored similar to its regional peers in safety measures on the Hospital Compare website, it fared worse in a survey by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, where the hospital ranked below the national average on all 12 safety measures.

The Hospital has made some changes in order to improve safety concerns, some of which are also being adopted nationally, and include:

  • Shifts begin with a “huddle” of each unit, which includes sharing how errors were caught across the hospital
  • An early alert system in being tested, where clinical staff can anonymously report safety hazards or near misses.       
  • Staff are empowered to report safety concerns.

(Sources: The Washington Post, http://www.washingtonpost.com, August 2, 2011; The Advisory Board Daily Briefing, http://advisory.com, August 5, 2011)