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'The Business of Health Care Report'

Safe Choices: Encourage Employees to Report Mistakes or Near-Misses

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I’m Doug Hawthorne, CEO of Texas Health Resources, with “The Business of Health Care Report.”

You may not think the flight deck of a Navy aircraft carrier or a nuclear power plant have much in common with the intensive-care unit at your local hospital. But in reality, they share a critical common denominator: Safety is Priority One.

Much like nuclear and aviation environments, hospitals are complex organizations in which critical decisions regarding life and death are made daily. That is why Texas Health Resources’ family of hospitals is studying the safety standards of the aviation and nuclear power industries. We’re striving to emulate their best practices to continually enhance and strengthen our safety measures.

As hospitals prepare to deal with potential public health issues from bird flu to the threat of bioterrorism, it is paramount that health care environments continue to improve in the areas of quality and safety. To some extent, this requires an evolution in workplace culture.

At THR, we mandate Safe Choices training for every employee – from maintenance to housekeeping to front-line patient care. This required training encourages employees to always report on-the-job mistakes and near misses, because we can’t improve safety if we are uninformed about risks.

Safe Choices is just one of the many ways that we at THR are striving to improve quality and safety for everyone who walks through our doors.

For Texas Health Resources and its faith-based hospitals – Harris Methodist, Presbyterian and Arlington Memorial – I’m Doug Hawthorne.

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