Working Together to Increase Patient Safety and Reduce Costs

For nearly ten years, Florida’s hospitals have come together to launch nation-leading quality and patient safety initiatives and participate in significant national programs. These efforts are making a real difference.

Patient and Family Engagement

When patients are engaged in their health care, it can lead to measurable improvements in safety and quality. To promote stronger engagement, Florida’s hospitals are establishing Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC). A PFAC works collaboratively with the hospital to improve quality, safety and the patient experience. The goal is to ensure the integration of the patient and family voice in hospital operations, policies and procedures to promote improvements in care. Learn more about how Florida’s hospitals are creating opportunities for patient and family partnerships through PFACs.

Reducing Hospital Readmissions

When it’s time for you to return home, your hospital works hard to ensure you can stay home and not return to the hospital again unless it’s necessary. Hospitals are taking steps to prevent readmissions, such as helping you make follow up appointments with your doctor soon after you leave the hospital, helping you understand the medications you’re taking and your doctor’s instructions for care at home, and working closely with home health providers, skilled nursing facilities and other care providers to ensure your transition out of the hospital is as seamless as possible.

Preventing Infections

Before your hospital stay, you may be asked to bathe with a specific type of soap. During your stay, your doctor may request that your blood sugar levels are checked even if you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes. That’s because higher than normal blood sugar can put you at greater risk of having an infection. These are examples of some of the steps hospitals have implemented to reduce your chance of having an infection.

Preventing Harm

Every day hospitals work hard to prevent harm from occurring. From double checking your name and date of birth, to confirming your procedure, to using carefully developed checklists, numerous steps are in place to check and double check your care.

Ensuring Babies Arrive Only When They’re Ready

Every moment in the womb provides much-needed development. Some mothers and doctors would like the baby to be born early, but delivering a baby before 39 weeks places the baby at additional health risks. Florida hospitals are working together to end all “early elective deliveries,” which are deliveries before 39 weeks that are not medically necessary.

Increasing Medication Safety

Medications are intended to improve your health, but if taken in the wrong dose, at the wrong time, or in the wrong combination, they could be harmful. In partnership with pharmacists, hospitals are continuously focused on medication safety, including clear labeling, clear instructions, and alerts in your electronic medical record to notify your caregivers of your medication needs and possible interactions.

These are just a few examples of how Florida’s hospitals are working to provide the safest possible care for every patient. By putting these steps in place, hospitals are also bringing greater value by reducing costs.