CHOC’s Commitment to Quality and Safety: An Update from the Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer

By Dr. James Cappon, CHOC Children’s Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer

At CHOC Children’s, we’ve worked hard to build a culture of safety, quality and collaboration. We’re proud to have cultivated an environment that not only prioritizes safety, but also emphasizes sharing and openness so that we can all learn from best practices, as well as mistakes or near misses.

So, when a leading safety organizes recognizes CHOC’s commitment to quality, it’s icing on the cake. We are thrilled to be the first pediatric facility in the world to be named a five-star hospital by the Patient Safety Movement Foundation (PSMF).

Dr. James Cappon, CHOC Children’s chief quality and patient safety officer

To reach this achievement, we’ve made formal commitments to all PSMF Actionable Patient Safety Solutions (APSS) – processes designed to eliminate preventable deaths – that are relevant to pediatric care.

Our collaboration with PSMF reinforces the natural tendencies within pediatric care to collaborate broadly, share readily and move quickly in evidence-based ways to constantly learn, teach and make all efforts to avoid patient harm.

Checklists remain key

All of this translates into CHOC’s belief in using checklists. Checklists work, as other industries know well. The concept of the PSMF’s APSS work. In an increasingly complex world, we just need to do the simple, proven things that lead us to our desired outcomes. And our patients and families thank us for our attention to small detail, which reaps big benefit.

We are active partners in a number of regional, state and national networks of children’s providers, patient safety organizations and specialty areas of excellence such as nursing, trauma, extracorporeal life support, and patient and employee experience – all of whom have some compendium of best practice standards.

That’s a good catch

In addition to collaborating and sharing information with our outside partners, we’re doing the same within the walls of our own campus. To move the needle on safety and quality, we all need to be open to learning, course correcting, and sharing. Our “Good Catch” program at CHOC is a great example of that.

This effort is designed to encourage employees to keep their eyes open and speak up when they notice something that could have gone wrong – without fear of punishment or retaliation. Under the program, employees who report a near miss or close call that could have harmed a patient, family member, colleague or visitor are entered into a raffle for prizes each month.

One person who submits a Great Catch – a near miss that could have harmed someone and led to a significant process improvement effort – earns a bigger prize each month.

Investing in quality, safety

We know the small investments in incentives for this program will pay off in dividends when it comes to continuing to cultivate an open and honest dialog around safety and quality at CHOC.

We believe in the power of stories and the importance of individual events, not just rates. This helps us see the impact of single instance and is consistent with our patient- and family-centered model of care.