How We Practice Safety at EvergreenHealth

Whether our employees give direct patient care or serve our patients in other ways, everyone plays a vital role in ensuring Absolute Safety at EvergreenHealth. 

We asked employees to provide examples of how they practice patient safety in their day-to-day jobs:

“Involving the patient during bedside report has been crucial to a complete and safe transition of care. I believe the patient also has more confidence in the care we provide knowing we have complete information.”

“Patient safety is at the forefront of every good care provider’s mind. It doesn’t matter if you are documenting medications, answering a patient’s questions or simply making sure the walkways are clear of tripping hazards: Every action or inaction contributes to safety for our patients and ourselves. Proud to work for such a wonderful organization!”

“I’m an RN working in EvergreenHealth Surgery Care, Tan. I maintain an advanced certification in moderate sedation administration to keep up on the latest safety measures to protect the patients under my care. Also, many of my patients are fall risks. We apply yellow safety slippers to all of our fall risk patients, and place a yellow tag on their charts so that everyone involved in their care is aware of that risk.”

“I make sure that patients know it is okay for them to use the sink in the exam rooms for washing their hands, particularly when they will be putting themselves 'back together' after a pelvic exam, when coughing with a cold and during flu season.”

“As a tech, I get to practice patient safety by assessing and communicating patient needs and collaborating with other staff to anticipate and meet those needs, providing orientation and education about safety, supporting the patient with a helping hand, ensuring safety alarms are set, clearly passing on safety risks to staff on the next shift, and promoting a just culture that supports quality improvement and teamwork and collaboration.”

“As an outpatient social worker who assists many clients with behavioral health issues, I confirm that they have access to social support—including contact information for their local Crisis Line. When working with teens, I make sure they have this number programmed into their phones.”

“In Home Health, we use multiple identifiers to make sure we've got the correct patient, with tons of hand hygiene all the time. I use clean bag technique for all my gear and use alcohol and stronger wipes as needed on my gear before returning it to my bag, allowing for adequate dwell time. I use gait belts for ambulatory patients and transfers; provide education for patients in home safety and fall prevention; and follow best practice for catheter care.”

“Always be alert! And with medication administration, always practice the 5 Rights: the right patient, the right drug, the right dose, the right route, and the right time.”

“In my role as Chief Information Officer at various organizations and now EvergreenHealth, I continually emphasize with staff in Information Technology to make sure they fully understand what (or shall I say who) is on the other side of their work – our patients, clinicians and staff. Having this very clear understanding helps them leverage technology and in doing so aids our clinicians in doing the right thing well, which includes which includes continuous improvements in patient safety.”

“As a new employee just finishing orientation, I will be using SafeLinq to report any “unsafe issues and/or concerns” affecting patients, patients’ family, staff or anyone in the clinic or on campus.”

“I work in the outpatient Wound Clinic. My background is in rehab nursing, working with spinal cord injuries. I frequently have the opportunity to teach safe patient transfers to/from wheel chair to exam chairs. Our clinic will be working on providing this teaching as part of the new staff orientation.” 

“In my role, I reinforce and remind staff of best practices regularly. For example, at an all-staff meeting in the fall, I created a quiz game show activity with the providers and staff on teams, answering safety and quality answers for team points. The competition got everyone fired up and discussing topics such as what to do when a patient brings in expired/unused medication that they want to get rid of.”

“I am always aware of my surroundings when at work. When I see something wet on the floor, I clean it up immediately. If there is trash on the ground, I pick it up. If something is not working right, I know who I need to contact in order to report any maintenance needs.”

“Our Heart & Vascular administrative employees make sure they use two patient identifiers, starting with the patient’s date of birth, to ensure they are scheduling the correct person, billing the right account and adding documents to the correct patient’s chart.”

“Patient safety isn’t just about personal physical safety, but also the safety of their identity, their account and their medical records.”

“I consistently use a gait belt when doing gait training with patients who are at risk of falling, and I teach their families and caregivers to uses gait belts too.”

“One of the ways that I practice patient safety is to help patients navigate doors/doorways while they are here in the office if they are having difficulty walking, are on crutches, or in a wheelchair, or if it is a mom with small children. We have two heavy doors between our waiting room and back office, and it is often difficult for patients to maneuver through them while balancing/opening the doors." 

“I practice patient safety by scanning all of my patients and medications, to make sure that I am giving the appropriate medications all of the time.”

“I keep the lobby clear of unused wheelchairs and other items that may impede access to exits, walkways, etc.”

“This sounds very basic, but when a patient is being transferred by wheelchair to check in, it’s best to open the front door for the patient and give the patient room to get in. The same in elevators: it’s good to invite them to enter the elevator first and exit first before employees.”