Our Proactive Approach to Patient Safety

February 3, 2015 - Year after year, MEDITECH’s New Year’s resolution remains the same: To provide quality software that ensures patient safety — and 2015 is no different.

A Reenergized Patient Safety Review Board

We kicked off the new year by refreshing our internal Patient Safety Review Board (PSRB). The Board’s overarching goals are to promote staff awareness, create a collaborative work environment, and advocate for patient safety — a top priority in our corporate culture. 

Now, with a new dedicated Priority Event (PE) team streamlining and improving PE management, the Board is able to further their focus and outreach to these four tenets: Education, Product & Services, Communication, and Safety Events. Each principle supports the advancement of a culture where patient safety is ingrained in every aspect of our business; and with their formalization, we’re now able to hone our focus and accelerate these tenets.

One of the most exciting changes to the PSRB is the addition of Physician Informaticists Dr. Steven Jones, MD and Dr. Bryan Bagdasian, MD. Their clinical perspectives are invaluable. According to Dr. Jones, “The well-being and safety of the patient is every doctor's responsibility. For Dr. Bagdasian and for me, the chance to serve on the Patient Safety Review Board is simply a natural extension of our work as physicians and our passion as caregivers.”

Proactive Development Efforts

Our Development team is continually looking for ways to improve quality, with a primary focus of Priority Event mitigation. Here, Associate Vice President, Development, Geoff Smith, and Director, Development, Michelle Brousseau share some of their teams’ latest initiatives: 

  • Test Automation Group: Automated tests are run on a nightly basis to ensure any code changes made during the day do not adversely affect the software. 
  • Physician Involvement: Physician review throughout numerous stages of the development process ensures our EHR meets clinicians’ workflow needs in the clinical setting.
  • Agile Development Process: Development’s “test early; test often” motto confirms MEDITECH’s EHR is functioning as intended, while allowing them to make changes and further improvements at each checkpoint. Testing efforts not only include input from various MEDITECH divisions, but also customers and end users.
  • Quality Assurance (QA) Group: This team creates guidelines and processes for software testing — implementing a QA model for quality standards applied to software deliverables across divisions. The group works collaboratively with product teams to track, monitor, and report QA activities, and reviews Priority Events to understand the root cause, ensuring processes are in place to effectively prevent further issues. 

Patient Safety, Always Priority One

MEDITECH staff care deeply about patient safety. Brousseau shared her sentiments: “Patient safety hits close to home. We’ve all been there — either as patients ourselves, or having loved ones in the hospital. We want the system to be safe; we want clinicians to feel confident; we want to keep everybody safe.”  Smith added, “Staff are very aware of the potential impact a mistake could have on a patient and take that into consideration constantly.”