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Patient Safety Program

Kaweah Health focuses on the continuous improvement of safety for all patients, visitors and employees.
We are committed to a just culture of safety in which employees are encouraged to speak up when they or others make mistakes, allowing us the opportunity to improve the care we deliver and prevent potential errors.

Patient Safety Heroes of the Year Award

Lorena Perez, CMSRN, and Amanda Silva, MSW, ASW

(Pictured: Lorena Perez (left), and Amanda Silva (right))

For their work to improve the quality and safety of care at Kaweah Health and potentially save lives, Lorena Perez, CMSRN, and Amanda Silva, MSW, ASW, were named Kaweah Health’s Patient Safety Heroes of the Year on Friday, March 22, in front of more than 300 leaders at Kaweah Health’s fifth annual Patient Safety Symposium at the Visalia Convention Center.

Perez and Silva were nominated for the Patient Safety Hero of the Year Award for doing just that. Both identified opportunities in their departments to improve the quality of patient care and safety and tied for the award, which is only in its second year at Kaweah Health.

Perez, an RN working with dialysis patients, clarified a breakdown in communication on her unit that was potentially life-saving for patients, while Silva took it upon herself to create a process to improve communication with child welfare services to protect children.

This is a great example on how every voice counts when it comes to patient safety! Congratulations Lorena and Amanda for your well-deserved recognition!

DUDE (Hospital Staff Hand Hygiene Awareness Program)

D.U.D.E is a Kaweah employee and physician program which reinforces, educates and creates awareness of infection prevention best practices, such as hand hygiene and equipment cleaning. D.U.D.E stands for Do U Disinfect Every time, and it serves as a friendly reminder to each other on these practices. This is an important piece of our strong infection prevention program and helps to keep our patient safe from infection.

Comprehensive Unit-Based Safety Program (CUSP)

Our 18 CUSP safety teams, led by Kaweah Health staff, nurses, and pharmacists, meet monthly in partnership with our doctors to solve patient safety issues that they, our front-line staff, have identified. The CUSP program at Kaweah Health started in 2012 and is modeled after the CUSP program at Johns Hopkins Hospital who founded the concept of CUSP. We value the wisdom of our front-line staff and providers and established this program to give them a way to work on their patient safety concerns with the support of Kaweah Health executive leadership who attend all CUSP meetings.

To learn more about the CUSP Program, click HERE.

Good Catch Award

Every month one Kaweah Health staff member or provider who showed their commitment to patient safety by speaking up and acting to prevent a possible error receives a Good Catch Award. Kaweah Health encourages nominations for the Good Catch Award for system or process safety improvements that were made to prevent near misses from reaching patients.

It is because of actions taken every day by dedicated professionals like the Good Catch Award honorees that Kaweah Health can continuously improve patient safety.

Medical Team Training

Kaweah Health uses TeamSTEPPS© to improve how our teams work together to ensure patient safety. We have several trained TeamSTEPPS© coaches who are experts in this medical team training program endorsed by the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ).
One good example of TeamSTEPPS© at Kaweah Health is our practice of “Safety Huddles” every shift on each patient care unit where the care team talks about potential high risk patient safety concerns. Another good example is the use of the TeamSTEPPS© acronym “CUS”. Each letter of CUS stands for a phrase that we encourage all staff and providers to use between each other when they have a serious patient safety concern. When we hear the CUS phrases we stop and listen closely, we encourage all staff and providers to speak up!

To learn more about the TeamSTEPPS© program click HERE.

Falls Prevention Program

Reducing patient falls and the risk of harm resulting from falls is one key part in Kaweah Health’s patient safety program. Kaweah Health has a fall-reduction program that provides guidelines for everyone involved in the care of patients at all Kaweah Health locations. The fall-reduction program includes patient evaluation, interventions, staff education and training, patient education and outcomes assessment. Kaweah Health Hospital has significantly improved patient fall rates since 2012 and has been well below the national average since January 2017.
While our nurses get advanced fall prevention training, all staff at Kaweah Health are responsible to prevent patient falls in the hospital. We train all Kaweah staff that may enter a patient’s room to look for common problems that put our patients at risk for a fall using the SPLAT acronym.

Patients at Kaweah Health Hospital are asked to sign a “Partnership Agreement” when they come into the hospital, we work together to keep patients safe from falls!

Flu Vaccine Program

Each year, Kaweah Health offers all employees and doctors an influenza immunization in an effort to protect its employees, patients and visitors against the disease.

Hand Hygiene

The best way to protect against infection is clean hands. It is important for healthcare employees to follow hand hygiene guidelines.
When you clean your hands, you reduce the chances of spreading germs from one patient to another. In fact, Kaweah Health is part of a growing number of hospitals that monitor hand hygiene among employees. This ongoing project is part of a comprehensive program to keep patients safe. Look for alcohol-based hand sanitizers around our facilities to protect the health of patients, visitors and employees.

To learn more about hand hygiene, click HERE.

National Patient Safety Goals

Part of Kaweah Health’s success is measured by meeting the National Patient Safety Goals defined by the Joint Commission, a national healthcare accreditation organization.

The goals are designed to ensure accredited hospitals are affording patients the best care possible. medication safety measure, following hand hygiene guidelines and preventing errors in surgery are examples of these goals.

To learn more about National Patient Safety Goals, click HERE.

Safety Event Reporting System

Kaweah Health’s online Safety Event Reporting System allows any employee or provider to report a near miss, process problem, or a patient event. An event is anything that occurs in the hospital or an outpatient area that caused or has the potential to cause a medical error or injury.

Kaweah Health employees and providers are encouraged to report events even if they did not cause harm to the patient. Reporting of "near misses" provides an opportunity for us to identify flaws in the system and to implement changes before they impact the patient. As always, ensuring our patients’ safety is an essential part of our commitment to putting patients first.