Nurses at UCSF Medical Center care deeply about patient safety as they care for patients on a 24/7 basis, and play a unique role in communicating and advocating for safe patient care. In such a complex healthcare setting as here at UCSF Medical Center, the needs are numerous, dynamic and ongoing.
The Patient Safety Fellows was formed to address such patient safety needs and is a nurse-driven hospital committee whose mission is to support nurses’ critical role as caregivers by giving them a voice, the means, and resources to effect meaningful change on a personal, unit-based, and hospital-wide level. The group meets monthly to identify, discuss, and offer solutions to the safety concerns raised by direct care nurses. Patient safety issues and potential solutions are channeled to the appropriate hospital administrator for resolution.
As part of the goal to educate nurses about their vital role in supporting patient safety, the committee offers two classes which provide valuable forums to share and learn from actual patient experiences. The first class, titled “Stories from the Bedside”, presents oral narratives so nurses can learn collectively from each other’s experiences, share lessons learned, and improve practice. In addition, nurses, patients and their family members have presented stories about their hospital experiences. Among the topics covered have been “Transferring Patients to ICU” which has resulted in major policy changes including safe transport of unstable patients. The second class teaches a communication skills class where real life scenarios are used to support nurses’ clinical development of critical thinking and effective communication.
The Patient Safety Fellows foster a culture of patient safety, engaging patients and staff, while supporting patients on their journey through the healthcare system. Patient safety remains the heart and soul of the work nurses do everyday, and thanks to the Patient Safety Fellows, these efforts are continually being improved and advanced.