National Hepatitis Testing Day is May 19th

May 18, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.

Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.


May is National Hepatitis Awareness month and this year the CDC is designating May 19th as National Hepatitis testing day. This is an excellent reminder for the healthcare community and others to get tested.

Not me, you say? Let me tell you why ignoring this might be a deadly mistake. According to the CDC over 4 million people in the US have chronic hepatitis C and most have no idea. Many of our baby boomers are infected and because they show no symptoms, they are clueless to the infection and the damage it is doing to their bodies. http://www.cdc.gov/hepatitis/TestingDay/index.htm
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HIV Outbreak in Southeastern Indiana; What’s Next?

May 11, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.

Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.

On March 26th, Mike Pence, the governor of Indiana, declared a public health emergency. It appeared, as of that date, 81 people had tested positive for HIV. All appeared to be linked to injection drug use. Without the executive order issued, the additional resources and services to curb the outbreak would not have been possible.

It is a growing issue in rural communities, drug abuse. Often due to the unemployment and underemployment rates, the socio-economic make up of a rural community and the lack of drug abuse counseling and other resources, the problem breeds like a bad infection. In this case, that infection is HIV.
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On Advocacy: Commentary by Sajna Kajtazovic of Nebraska Methodist College

May 4, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

Sajna
Being a patient safety advocate means to care about the safety and health of the patient. When a patient reveals that an unsafe health practice happened, lots of drama ensues, just like in A Never Event. The patient safety advocate is the person that needs to be there for the patient to support them through anything they need. A patient needs to know that there is someone in their corner who believes them unconditionally and will be their voice if they don’t have one. read more »

Possible Hepatitis, HIV Exposures in Santa Barbara, CA

April 20, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.

Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.


My heart skipped a few beats last week when I read about the potential outbreak resulting from a lack of safe infection control measures in a doctor’s office in Santa Barbara County. Things had been going fairly smoothly in regard to safe injection practices. In 2014, none of the investigations which took place found any disease transmissions. In fact, we had not had an investigation over the last six months and although we never stop educating and spreading awareness, we were able to breathe a small sigh of relief. read more »

Methodist Monday – Preparing nurses to advocate for their patients

April 13, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

Nursing school faculty at the NE Methodist College stress patient advocacy in their curriculum

Nursing school faculty at the NE Methodist College stress patient advocacy in their curriculum

The American Association of Colleges of Nursing emphasizes that an essential component of baccalaureate nursing education is to prepare the graduate to advocate for individuals, families, groups, communities, populations, the profession of nursing, and changes in the health care system (AACN, 2008). The challenge for nurse educators is how to define advocacy, not just as a word but a greater concept, and how to engage students in advocacy.

Patient lived experiences are a great way for students to understand how their actions in their own practice affect their patient at the time of care and in the future. The focus of nursing education is to prepare students to understand their patient’s problem and provide action steps to correct the problem. The use of personal stories helps the students to visualize and truly understand how their interventions and rationale can affect their patients in years to come.

Reading the book, A Never Event, has made a huge impact on our nursing students. Reading about an incident that happened so close to home allows the students to take accountability and ownership for these profound issues in our health system. The shocking events that occurred call the students to become advocates for quality and safety improvement for our patients. They identify with the stories and the characters and become empowered for change.

Evelyn McKnight’s presence in the classroom helps students to see a person who has a passion for the cause of patient safety.  Evelyn is able to clearly articulate her mission for safe care for every person and she empowers students to see themselves as advocates for her cause as well.  She puts the concept of patient safety right onto the shoulders of the students as future competent health care providers.  I think students comprehend their responsibility for safe patient care in a whole new light after listening to Evelyn McKnight. After hearing her story and learning about all the ways she is impacting health care policy, students see that every person can make a difference in the world.

Evelyn’s contribution to a new book, The Truth About Big Medicine, compliments her personal story in A Never Event and expands on the issues of health policy in America. Evelyn gives a face and story to health policy, helping individuals better understand the importance of health policy awareness, advocacy, and activism. We look forward to including The Truth About Big Medicine in our nursing curriculum at Nebraska Methodist College.

Cathy Barnes, MSN, RN, Katie Doty, MSN, RN, Casey Frost, MSN, RN, Jodi Jenson-Bassett, MSN, RN, Carissa Nielsen, MSN, RN, and Echo Perlman MSN, RN are nursing faculty at the Nebraska Methodist College and the authors of this blog.

Reference

American Association of Colleges of Nursing. (2008). The essentials of baccalaureate education for professional nursing practice. Retrieved from http://www.aacn.nche.edu/education-resources/BaccEssentials08.pdf

Celebrating the Success of the Partnership for Patients

March 30, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

PfP Boxed logo-1 Recently, Partnership for Patients (PfP) issued a report on its achievements. You will recall from a previous post that the PfP is a very large national quality improvement learning collaborative with two aims: to improve safety in acute care hospitals and to improve coordination of care at discharge to prevent readmissions. The PfP is a public-private partnership that seeks national change by setting clear aims, aligning and engaging multiple Federal partners and programs, aligning and engaging multiple private partners and payers, and establishing a national learning network available to all healthcare providers and facilities.

I participated as a patient advocate in the work of the PfP. My fellow patient advocates and I were invited to give input in every meeting, every phone call, every critical decision. The patient advocates imbued passion for safety into the conversation. This passion set the tone for co-operation and action among the members of the campaign. Several times I was part of a discussion which bogged down in, what seemed to me, a standoff between two camps: those who believed that a proposed policy would save lives and thus should be adopted, and those who believed that the policy was too difficult and/or costly for hospitals to execute. A patient advocate took to the airwaves, and gave her personal story of the harm that she suffered because the policy was not in place. The tone immediately changed from “this is too difficult/costly to achieve” to “we must do whatever we can to keep patients safe.” Within minutes the team moved forward, working co-operatively for patient safety. I believe the patient’s voice was a major contribution to the overall success of the campaign.

The Partnership for Patients and its over 3,700 participating hospitals were focused on making hospital care safer, more reliable, and less costly through the achievement of two goals:

  1. Making Care Safer. By the end of 2014, preventable hospital-acquired conditions would decrease by 40% compared to 2010.
  2. Improving Care Transitions. By the end of 2014, preventable complications during a transition from one care setting to another would be decreased so that all hospital readmissions would be reduced by 20% compared to 2010.

As part of the PfP campaign, baseline measures were collected on nine hospital-acquired conditions (e.g., adverse drug events, pressure ulcers and surgical site infections) in 2010. At the end of the initial engagement period of the PfP, a cumulative total of 1.3 million fewer hospital-acquired conditions (HACs) were experienced by hospital patients over the 3 years (2011, 2012, 2013) relative to the number of HACs that would have occurred if rates had remained steady at the 2010 level. It is estimated that approximately 50,000 fewer patients died in the hospital as a result of the reduction in HACs, and approximately $12 billion in health care costs were saved from 2010 to 2013.

It was so gratifying to be part of this effort that keeps the patient at the center of health care quality improvement. The momentum that was created through the PfP is exciting, and I look forward to the continuation of the patient safety movement that is driven by the patient voice.

Saluting the Healthcare Professionals at Madigan Army Medical Center

March 23, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

Tom & Evelyn McKnight recently presented at Madigan Army Medical Center

Tom & Evelyn McKnight recently presented at Madigan Army Medical Center

We were so honored recently to be asked to give several presentations to healthcare providers at Madigan Army Medical Center near Tacoma, Washington.

I have always been in awe of the brave men and women in military service. The commitment and sacrifice that they make is beyond measure. To volunteer to serve our country, often in dangerous circumstances and far away from loved ones, is incredible. They have my deepest admiration.

So it was great respect that we gave presentations on patient safety to healthcare personnel. And our respect was well deserved. The healthcare providers asked thoughtful questions about patient safety and shared their own, impressive efforts in insuring that soldiers receive safe, quality healthcare.

Here is a 3 minute video tribute to Madigan. Madigan Army Medical Center, we salute you!

59 Children Injected with a Single Needle

March 16, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.

Lauren Lollini is a patient safety advocate who has been integral in changing laws to keep patients safe as well as a member of the Drug Diversion Prevention Committee.

On March 3rd, the India Times reported an incident where 59 children were injected with the same syringe and needle while being administered an antibiotic. This not only highlights the many issues surrounding the state-run hospitals there, but also illustrates the point we, at HONOReform, have been helping to bring to light.

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Injection Safety is a Global Priority

March 9, 2015

Evelyn McKnight and Lauren Lollini

The Safe Injection Global Network is launching a new campaign

The Safe Injection Global Network (SIGN) is launching a new campaign

Steve Langan and Evelyn McKnight recently attended meetings of the Safe Injection Global Network, sponsored by the World Health Organization, in Geneva, Switzerland. Following is their report.

How thrilling to be part of a global effort to advance injection safety! It was a rewarding moment when we entered the doors of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland last month to participate in meetings of the Safe Injection Global Network.

We joined dedicated advocates of many countries, all working to eradicate reuse of syringes and needles, misuse of medication vials and unnecessary injections. Although we differed in language, culture and homeland, we were united in our passion to prevent disease transmission through unsafe injections everywhere – from India to Egypt, Uganda to the United States, and everywhere in between.

Representatives from Nepal, Brazil, Pakistan and the United Kingdom said to us, “We’ve seen and admired the website of the One and Only Campaign. We’d like something like it in our country.” We were proud to share some highlights of the One and Only Campaign with the assembly, and we are eager to work with SIGN to bring it to all countries.

Here is a 2 minute video that shares some of the highlights of the new SIGN Campaign. We will share here further developments as the campaign unfolds!