Hospital publishes harm events, data in push to build culture of safety

Le Bonheur Children’s leaders are working to add a layer of transparency and awareness to how clinicians care for children.

Starting this winter, patients, families and guests will be greeted with a notice of the number of days since the hospital’s last patient harm event when they enter the hospital lobby. It’s the latest in a number of changes the hospital has made in recent months to make safety and quality even more top of mind.

“If we believe in partnering with families and treating them like another member of our care team, then we have to be transparent with those families,” said Chief Medical

Officer Barry Gilmore. “It’s just another layer of accountability and information that we want to add to the conversation.”

Le Bonheur was named one of 10 “Top Children’s Hospitals” by The Leapfrog Group, an independent hospital watchdog organization with a focus on quality and safety. The group looks at infection rates, quality of high-risk procedures and readmission rates in determining its top hospitals.

In the past several months, leaders have added harm event communication to various areas of the hospital. The number of days since a harm event is now listed in Le Bonheur’s daily staff email, the daily bulletin. When harm events occur, the email lists what harm event occurred and when. “Days since the last harm event” are also listed on televisions in staff elevators to keep the information in front of all staff.

Le Bonheur’s website,, also provides information on clinical quality indicators and how Le Bonheur fares in each. Information is automatically updated to provide patients, families and even potential patient families the most current data available.

All of this is in addition to Daily Safety Briefs for clinical and non-clinical staff that started three years ago to help staff share information about day-to-day operations.

“Everyone can make a difference in improving safety, whether they are caring at the bedside or just making a family feel safe and comfortable in the hallway,” said Donna Vickery, director of Quality Improvement. “We want to do everything we can to remind our staff of that while reinforcing our belief that safety and quality really are the top priority for our organization.”

Vickery and Gilmore are working to develop additional ways to display this information – including the addition of unit-specific quality indicators.

“We’re adding a level of accountability for staff and hopefully more buy-in for families,” Gilmore said. “The ultimate goal is a safer culture and better outcomes for all children we care for.”

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