Norwalk Community Hospital Launches Journey to Become a High Reliability Organization
Patient safety is a top priority at Norwalk Community Hospital, which is why the hospital leadership is committed to becoming a High Reliability Organization (HRO).
“In an HRO, everyone from our hospital leadership to our frontline staff is committed to the goal of zero harm to every patient, in every experience, every time,” said Hector Hernandez, hospital CEO. “Our culture of safety compels us to hold one another accountable and encourages everyone to speak up about patient care concerns.”
To support our safety culture, hospital leadership established behavior expectations for clinical and non-clinical staff. The hospital currently has been focused on patient safety for years, but the HRO process hardwires the safety culture into behaviors and skills.
“These expectations call everyone to make a personal commitment to safety, be accountable for clear and complete communication, and remove barriers to cross-functional collaboration,” said hospital system’s West Region Quality and Patient Safety Vice President Rhonda Jones-Barnes shares the importance of safety behaviors and universal skills in caring for our patients.
Additionally, the hospital has implemented the following organizational efforts to support our culture of safety and our goal of zero preventable harm:
- Clinical staff gather each day for a safety "huddle" to review schedule and important patient safety considerations.
- Unit managers and staff have employed standardized tools and processes to improve safety practices across the hospital.
- Leaders visit clinical areas weekly to reinforce safety behaviors with frontline staff and discuss processes that are working well and opportunities for improvement.
“At Norwalk Community Hospital, our staff was drawn to our profession for its higher purpose: Helping people,” Hernandez added. “Higher reliability helps us achieve that goal by providing the best possible care, which improves the quality of our patients’ lives and the eastern LA communities in which we serve.”