Patient Safety Coalitions

Patient Safety Coalitions seeing progress statewide.

At the Indiana Patient Safety Summit on June 2, more than 140 hospital safety leaders gathered to discuss effective strategies, share best practices and celebrate the success of the Partnership for Patients campaign. Through the work of the patient safety coalitions, 4,690 harms and 1,254 readmissions were prevented in 11 focus areas, resulting in an estimated $22.3 million in health care cost savings. The summit also gave attendees a chance to hear from industry leaders and look ahead to what’s next. Along with the IPSC’s priorities for the state, each coalition is working on unique projects based on the specific needs of their member hospitals.


“Dr. Bien, the previous co-chair, started the call-to-purpose story at the beginning of each meeting, and it adds such great value that it’s now built into our agenda. The stories that are shared are either actual harm events or near-miss situations. It is an opportunity to learn from others to prevent patient harm. In our coalition, we do not compete on safety issues; we are transparent when it comes to improving patient outcomes and decreasing patient harm.”

– Linda Webb Chief Nursing Officer | Pulaski Memorial Hospital


“We’re working to hardwire common processes. In addition, we’re really working to engage the members because we know that engaged members drive outcomes and success. We’re also seeing a lot of additional participation from the universities. I think there are some great opportunities to utilize nursing or Allied Health students in some projects that would serve a dual purpose. It would help us as a coalition and also help them with a school project.”

– Kitty Kamm Director, Quality Management | Community Howard Regional Health


“All of the hospitals in our coalition have been active participants in our pharmacy sub-committee. This past year the sub-committee has focused on three areas of Adverse Drug Events (ADE), those related to insulin, warfarin and opioid use. With regards to the use of opioids, the NCIPSC saw some big changes when they worked to eliminate some of the routine reversals present within outpatient procedural areas. All of the hospital participants have consistently shared their data on all three measures, and as a coalition we saw some nice downward trends with all three ADEs. This has been a great example of multiple hospitals working together to advance patient safety throughout the region.”

– Dr. Cheryl Wibbens Vice President of Medical Staff Affairs, Chief Safety Officer | Memorial Hospital of South Bend


“We have a task force working on handoffs and transitions. We determined that we needed more direction from the bedside caregiver. So, we did four focus group interviews at different hospitals, with approximately 10 bedside caregivers at each one, to ask them about the challenges and barriers involved in department-to-department handoffs. They gave us input and feedback, and based on that, we developed a survey that all 20 hospitals are using. Our goal isn’t to come up with a process for handoffs that’s the same for each hospital, since we all have different electronic medical records, structures and cultures. However, as a patient safety coalition, we want to better understand the barriers and challenges so we can offer assistance to all the hospitals in our coalition.”

– LeAnne Horn Director & Patient Safety Officer | Indiana University Health Bloomington


“Something we are working on right now across the coalition is moving to plain language for emergency alerts. We’ve all committed to having that done by year’s end. We’re also working on the most difficult project we’ve ever tackled—medication reconciliation—specifically, getting people, when they present to the hospital, to present with a current list of their medications. That sounds simple, but it’s one of the most complicated things. It is just such a critical piece, the solution has just eluded us so far. We haven’t given up and we are continuing to work on it, but it’s been tough.”

– Dr. Jeffrey Brookes Medical Director Parkview | Community Hospitals


“All of the hospitals in the district were talking about the concerns we have that are alike, and opioid education and understanding was the one that really bubbled out. For an educational event, we were able to broadcast a live stream from Union Hospital with three speakers to all seven of the district hospitals at one time. The topic was “Dealing with the Pain of Opioid Abuse,” and we invited nurses, pharmacists and physicians. The entire district felt that the platform was fantastic to use for us all to be educated at the same time. Providers would not have been able to go to Union, so it was fantastic to be able to bring the expertise of the speakers to the rural hospitals. Everybody was able to ask questions live and you could hear the answers coming back, so we all had the same information.”

– Lea Ann Camp Chief Nursing Officer | Greene County Hospital


“Right now everyone is comparing apples and oranges. Everybody administers the AHRQ Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture the way they want to, the way they always have or the way they feel the most comfortable. From the survey results, the coalition will focus on the handoffs and transition dimensions. So, what we tried to do in the coalition is make it so that everybody is administering the survey in the same way so that we do have standardization. That way, when we look at the results, they’re more meaningful.”

– Deb Hummel Lead Quality and Safety Program Liaison | Rush Memorial Hospital


“Collective agreement to not compete on safety while addressing regional disparities is a priority for our coalition’s work. We engage non-acute hospital stakeholders through partnerships with Schools of Nursing involving students in our areas of focus through capstone project work. The students provide innovative ideas and our partnerships allow the coalition to strengthen the future workforce in their understanding of the essential need to prioritize patient safety through multidisciplinary collaboration. Working with the students, in turn, re-energizes our membership.”

– Merievelyn Stuber Patient Safety Officer/Quality | Methodist Hospitals


“The Clinical Excellence Council of the Suburban Health Organization (SHO) serves affiliate hospitals through collaborative focus to eliminate harm and maximize wellness to the communities served. The formation and deployment of workgroups with broad member representation focused on identified needs serves as a great source of pride. Examples of our targeted work to standardize include plain language alerts for critical situations, as well as developing a sepsis protocol. While it is too early to evaluate impact of each workgroups’ recommendations, this model is serving well to enhance engagement and partnership across hospitals and further expansion of this approach is anticipated.”

– Dr. Craig Wilson Chief Medical Officer | Suburban Health Organization


“We have a high level of engagement across our health systems. I am very appreciative of not only our executive’s involvement, but also the fact that their involvement sets the stage for really robust interdisciplinary work and group participation. Bringing everyone to the table is so terrific, because we have many points of view and a pool of experts that are really knowledgeable about each particular topic working together to arrive at consensus. I really do believe it accelerates the rate of change, because it allows all the hospitals to move together. This year, we’re also focusing on publicizing our work either through journal publications or state and national presentations. We’re doing a lot of good work at ICPS and in the spirit of transparency and sharing; it’s important to broadcast that work so we can learn from each other.”

– Jim Fuller President Indianapolis | Coalition for Patient Safety


“Readmissions have been a major focus for the hospitals. Our hospitals have concentrated their efforts in establishing processes to ensure the patients’ prescribed care is continued at home or a skilled facility, thereby avoiding unnecessary readmissions. Communication is key to a successful continuum of care. The CPSC Care Transition Sub team is partnering with community health care providers and faith-based ministries to reach patient groups who historically have had difficulty accessing care.”

– Beverly Walton Executive Director | CPSC