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Windom Area Hospital Earns Surgical Safety Excellence Award

Windom Area Hospital has earned a Minnesota Hospital Association Patient Safety Excellence Award for its work on preventing adverse surgical events (such as the wrong procedure being performed, or a procedure being performed on the wrong body part or patient) through the SAFE SITE initiative. The award is given to teams achieving more than 90 percent of the actions in the SAFE SITE Roadmap to a Comprehensive Safe Site Procedure Program.

Patient safety is a top priority for Windom Area Hospital and other Minnesota hospitals. Because of this, Windom Area Hospital joined the SAFE SITE initiative, where Minnesota teams are working collectively to prevent wrong-site surgeries by implementing the SAFE SITE roadmap.

“Hospitals that receive these awards are to be commended — the bar is set very high,” said MHA Patient Safety Vice President Tania Daniels. “Hospitals that qualify have achieved measurable and meaningful progress toward implementing best practices to drive down adverse health events.”

“Providing safe care for our patients is important to us,” says Windom Area Hospital Administrator, Gerri Burmeister, FACHE. “ We are very proud of the work our surgical team has accomplished to promote safe site surgery for our community.”

Implementing the SAFE SITE roadmap involves many steps:

S – Safe site team. Hospitals create a team, including a physician champion, to design and implement safe surgery efforts.
A – Access to information. Hospitals develop and implement informational tools, such as checklists and audits, which create safeguards in the process.
F – Facility expectations. Hospitals evaluate and improve policies and procedures to reduce the risk of wrong-surgery events.
E – Educate staff and patients. Hospitals create staff training and patient education on the topic.

S – Sign site with initials. Hospitals implement and enforce a policy that requires surgeons to sign the surgical site.
I – Informed consent. Hospitals create a process of bedside verification to ensure patients are aware of surgical risks, benefits, and other issues.
T – Time out. Hospitals implement a process where the surgical team pauses to verify the patient, procedure, and surgical site just prior to making the first incision.
E – Effective communication. Hospitals implement use of checklists, briefings and debriefings to make sure the surgical team is effectively communicating.

In addition to the SAFE SITE award, Windom Area Hospital has also received the SAFE from FALLS and SAFE SKIN awards from the Minnesota Hospital Association. For more information about the SAFE SITE campaign, visit the Minnesota Hospital Association Web site at www.mnhospitals.org/index/patient1, or contact Windom Area Hospital Surgery Manager Nancy Jensen at 831-2400.


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