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Patient Safety Leadership WalkRounds™ at Partners HealthCare: Learning from Implementation

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Abstract:

Background: Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) began Patient Safety Leadership WalkRounds™ in January 2001; its experience, along with that of three other Partner Healthcare hospitals, is reported.

Collecting Data on WalkRounds: Data were obtained from interviews with patient safety personnel, WalkRounds scribes, and senior leaders.

Findings: A total of 233 one-hour WalkRounds during 28 months yielded 1,433 comments—30% related to equipment, 13% to communications, 7% to pharmacy, and 6% to workforce. Actions occurred quickly in small hospitals. Formal processes for managing larger issues were necessary in large organizations. Implementation feasibility featured more prominently than severity in determining actions.

Discussion: The study generated essential guidelines for success—for example, the supporting resources must include the maintenance of effective information databases that identify actions taken, and the discussions during WalkRounds are influenced by who in leadership is participating, their ability to quietly listen, and whether they have clinical or nonclinical backgrounds.

Conclusions: WalkRounds appears to be an effective tool for engaging leadership, identifying safety issues, and supporting a culture of safety.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2005-08-01

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  • The Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety will be published by Elsevier beginning in 2017! For readers who receive access to the journal through their institutions, the journal can now be found on ScienceDirect (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/15537250). For librarians looking to subscribe to the journal for their institutions please contact your Elsevier Account Manager or visit www.myelsevier.com for more information. All other readers, please visit http://www.jointcommissionjournal.com/ to subscribe to the journal or to claim your access for an existing subscription.
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