High Reliability

Alaska Hospitals are committed to High Reliability.  In healthcare, being a high reliability organization means having no preventable harm incidents and causing no harm to patients. ASHNHA is here to support our Alaska hospitals on their quests for high reliability. 

Hospitals can make substantial progress toward high reliability by undertaking several specific organizational change initiatives. Constant quality improvement is one of the key ingredients, high reliability programs can never stop, achieving safety in the hospital and LTC system is an all-day, every day process. 

Root of high reliability

High reliability programs became a focus within the the healthcare community after realizing adverse events at a national level.  In spite of the quality measures [already] undertaken, there was a need to totally change the approach to safety and quality in the healthcare system.

Steps to high reliability transformation as presented by M. Michael Shabot, MD, FACS, FCCM, FACMI, the CMO of Memorial Hermann Healthcare in Houston.

  1. Get the board’s support. High reliability programs have to start with the board.
  2. Make patient safety a core value. Many hospitals and health systems have sets of priorities and values, along with a mission statement, include patient safety as a core value. Key’s to patient safety include a just culture, effective communication and processes for ensuring providers are engaged in effective state of the art patient care.
  3. Provide employees a high reliability education program. The training program should be for all positions, ongoing, with new-hires also receiving high reliability training upon joining the system.
  4. Follow safety checklists. Checklist systems can help prevent patient harm by eliminating human error and ensuring patient safety. To prevent various risk events, develop safety checklists in departments such as the intensive care unit and the operating room to ensure high reliability and reduce patient risk. Additionally, before a blood transfusion or administering a high-risk medication, complete a double-check to ensure safety. Also, bar-coding medications, checking against a patient arm band and computerized medication lists increase medication reliability before meds are given.