IHI/NPSF Announces Safety Culture & Technology Innovator Award Recipients

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Health Professionals from Boston Children’s Hospital and Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha recognized

Recognition of visionary and innovative health professionals motivates and inspires others to look beyond existing boundaries for solutions that support their overall safety culture.

A pioneer in the use of medical simulation and a team that introduced a hospital-wide, automated hand hygiene monitoring program have been chosen to receive the 2017 IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute Medtronic Safety Culture & Technology Innovator Awards. The awards will be conferred on September 28 at the 10th Annual IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute Forum & Keynote Dinner in Newton, Massachusetts.

This is the inaugural year for the award program, which recognizes individuals and teams who use their organization's safety culture—or who effect culture change—in implementing extraordinary and innovative technology that is effective and sustainable.

Peter Weinstock, MD, PhD, was chosen to receive the individual award for his vision and leadership in embedding simulation within the safety culture of Boston Children’s Hospital, where he serves as Anesthesia Chair in Pediatric Simulation, Director of the Simulator Program (SIMPeds), and Senior Associate in critical care medicine. Under his leadership, the medical simulation program has expanded to include a separate simulation engineering department with capabilities such as 3D printing of patient anatomy for surgical pre-planning and rapid prototyping of novel medical devices. The Boston Children’s Hospital Simulation Center allows for simulation of multiple scenarios and settings, including a child’s bedroom, allowing parents and caregivers to learn how to care for a sick or recovering child at home.

“Peter and his team are committed to weaving medical simulation into the everyday workflow of Boston Children’s culture, making it a cornerstone of our work to be a high reliability organization,” said Kevin B. Churchwell, MD, Executive Vice President of Health Affairs and Chief Operating Officer at Boston Children’s Hospital. “Now, the use of medical simulation goes beyond training and skills development to helping prepare staff to manage adverse events —it’s a significant part of crisis resource management training.”

Children’s Hospital & Medical Center in Omaha is being recognized with the team award for their implementation of an automated hand hygiene monitoring program. Consistent hand cleaning is essential to infection prevention in health care settings. The use of human auditors to monitor compliance with hand hygiene practice proved limiting and presented challenges in enforcing desired actions.

The team looked for a solution that would, among other requirements, not disrupt workflow, not require changes to the infrastructure, deliver positive reinforcement of correct hand hygiene practice, and impact at least one measure associated with health care-associated infections. Their solution is an innovative program that uses electronic sensors and user-specific badges. In addition to providing real-time monitoring, the system delivers positive reinforcement of hand hygiene practice and a visual confirmation for patients and families. Data are collected and can be analyzed by unit, clinical discipline, or individual. Since the program was implemented, the organization has noted a substantial decline in hospital-acquired infections.

“An organizational culture focused on patient safety has been critical to our team’s success,” says Richard G. Azizkhan, MD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. “Our entire enterprise—from frontline staff to executive leadership—has embraced this program, recognizing innovation as key to building on that culture and improving patient care.”

This award program was created with support from Medtronic, inaugural funder of the IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute.

“Technological solutions are often very valuable in improving safety, but we know that an organization’s culture plays an enormous role in the success or failure of any new initiative,” said David J. Giarracco, Vice President, Global Market Development, Medtronic. “These projects offer valuable evidence of how important it is to enlist leadership support, to collect the perspectives of those who will be using the technology, and to start small when necessary. We congratulate these honorees for their impressive work.”

The IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute (LLI) was established by the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF), which merged with the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) earlier this year. LLI’s members work on defining strategic paths and calls to action for the patient safety field, providing vision, context, and impetus for system-level change. Following the merger, LLI continues its work as a program within IHI.

“We received so many impressive nominations for this award, indicative of the wide range of safety culture work and the relation to the use of technology,” said Tejal K. Gandhi, MD, MPH, CPPS, Chief Clinical and Safety Officer, IHI, and President of the IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute. “Recognition of visionary and innovative health professionals motivates and inspires others to look beyond existing boundaries for solutions that support their overall safety culture.”

For information about the Forum & Keynote Dinner, including the agenda and reservations to attend, visit the event website. For more information about the work of the IHI/NPSF Lucian Leape Institute, click here.

About Us
The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and the National Patient Safety Foundation (NPSF) began working together as one organization in May 2017. The newly formed entity is committed to using its combined knowledge and resources to focus and energize the patient safety agenda in order to build systems of safety across the continuum of care. To learn more about our trainings, resources, and practical applications, visit ihi.org/PatientSafety.

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Patricia McTiernan
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