May 21, 2024

Patient Safety Beat

Patient safety news and progress in Massachusetts

New nurses and physicians face challenges transitioning from education to practice

Today’s new nurses and physicians are entering practice at a particularly volatile time. The pandemic exacerbated issues already stressing the workforce, such as staff shortages, increased productivity pressure and growing discomfort with the safety and personal cost of long work hours

ECRI, a leading federally listed Patient Safety Organization, put “transitioning newly trained clinicians from education into practice” at the top of its list of patient safety concerns for 2024, and provider organizations are adapting their approaches. Residency programs for nurses bolster skills and confidence. Also helpful are limits on duty hours, flexible schedules, and including clinicians in planning what day-to-day work looks like.

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Q&A with Mary Sullivan Smith on supporting new nurses with residency programs

Residency programs like the one at New England Baptist Hospital offer new nurses hands-on training in the clinical environment and a specialized opportunity for didactic and simulated learning. Mary Sullivan Smith, D.N.P., R.N., Senior President, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer at NEBH, says residency also provides nurses with a social network of peers for increased community, support and resilience. Smith says that relationships across units also improve as nurse residents work in different areas of the hospital. “As people connect, the culture grows in a very positive way.”

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CMS proposes hospital safety measure and seeks public comments by June 10

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is proposing a new attestation measure to indicate how well hospitals incorporate strategies and practices to advance their safety systems. The proposed Patient Safety Structural Measure — informed by the National Steering Committee for Patient Safety — will assess safety cultures and structures by focusing on five “best practice” domains:

  • Leadership commitment to eliminating preventable harm
  • Strategic planning and organizational policy
  • Culture of safety and learning health system
  • Accountability and transparency
  • Patient and family engagement

Learn more and submit comments electronically through June 10, 2024.

Upcoming events

May 30

5 - 6:30 p.m.

PFAC Spring Forum 2024. Join the Betsy Lehman Center for a virtual forum for PFAC members. The theme is “Creating connections to strengthen the impact of councils,” with feature presentations and discussions on leadership engagement and bringing diversity to PFAC membership. Register here

June 12

11 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Enhancing Organizational Capabilities for Patient Engagement and Safety. This webinar is part of Press Ganey's High Reliability Learning series and is focused on how patient engagement and perceptions of safety strongly correlate with loyalty and likelihood to recommend. Presentations by Tejal Gandhi, M.D., M.P.H., and Susan Haufe. Register here

June 26

7:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

PNQIN Spring Summit. Join the Perinatal-Neonatal Quality Improvement Network of Massachusetts at the Four Points Sheraton in Norwood for updates on equity-focused work involving perinatal teams and partner organizations across the state. Register here

Patient Safety Beat is published by the Betsy Lehman Center, a Massachusetts state agency that supports providers, patients and policymakers working together to advance the safety and quality of health care.

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