Mount Sinai receives leading practices award for patient safety

Wednesday, November 28, 2012 – HIROC NOW News
Mount Sinai accepts the HIROC Leading Practices Award for Patient Safety & Quality. Pictured from left: Philip DeSouza of HIROC, Longwoods Publishing Corporation’s Anton Hart, Mount Sinai’s Eric Goldszmidt, Peter Flattery of HIROC and Mount Sinai’s Olga Livshits and Farah Khan Choudhry.

Natalie Hamilton

Mount Sinai’s ability to standardize and reduce pre-operative tests for patients requiring elective surgery has earned the Toronto hospital a patient safety and quality award.

Longwoods Publishing Corporation presented Mount Sinai with the HIROC Leading Practices Award for Patient Safety & Quality during the recent HealthAchieve Ontario Hospital Association conference in Toronto.

“(We’re) very pleased and honoured to be recognized at a national forum,” Olga Livshits, Mount Sinai senior consultant of quality and safety, tells Axiom News.

“This was the work of a multidisciplinary team and a great example of consensus-building.”

The award-winning initiative involves the standardization and reduction of routine pre-operative diagnostic testing of patients undergoing elective surgery.

Deliberate planning and early inter-professional engagement helped Mount Sinai successfully re-design and standardize the process for ordering pre-operative screening tests. The hospital was able to reduce the volumes of laboratory, ECG and chest X-ray exams ordered through the pre-admission unit.

“Clinicians identified the opportunity to decrease unnecessary testing to improve the patient experience and contribute to fiscally-responsible, evidence-based practice,” Livshits explains.

Patients benefit because the initiative ensures they’re getting the right interventions at the right time and according to standardized evidence, Livshits says. “By decreasing the use of screening chest X-rays, patients are not getting unnecessary radiation."

The medical directive that was implemented also allows nurses to work to their full scope of practice, Livshits says. “They can now make decisions around appropriate pre-operative screening based on specific clinical criteria.”

The initiative helps open the door for other clinicians at Mount Sinai and elsewhere to critically look at criteria for how and why tests and interventions are selected, she adds.

For others considering a similar initiative, Mount Sinai’s suggestions include engaging stakeholders in the infancy stages to create organizational buy-in, building a strong triad of leadership between anesthesia, surgery and nursing, and making it easy for staff “to do the right thing.”

The initiative echoes the work of the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation's “Choosing Wisely Campaign.” Learn more the campaign by clicking here

For more information about the Leading Practices awards, click here.

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