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6 North staff nurse wins Patient Safety Award

Karen Clougher, RN

At Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital, delivering safe, high-quality care is at the center of all we do for our patients and their families. For staff members who exhibit exceptional care in regards to patient safety, the hospital recognizes them with a Patient Safety Award. 6 North staff Karen Clougher, RN, was recently honored with a Patient Safety Award.

Clougher was recognized for her diligence after she reported a near miss in RL Solutions, BWFH’s patient safety reporting system.

Clougher’s patient’s orders called for Penicillin G sodium to be administered intravenously. When Clougher entered Penicillin G into the Smart Pump, she noticed an inconsistency in dose with the patient’s orders. Upon investigation, it was discovered that the Smart Pump had defaulted to the wrong medication. “There are two types of Penicillin G—Penicillin G sodium and Penicillin G potassium—and they come in different package sizes.” explains Director of Pharmacy Services Brian Zikaras, PharmD. “When you type in Penicillin in the Smart Pump, it defaults to Penicillin G potassium which is set for a 100ml bag at 100ml/hour. Penicillin G sodium, which the patient was set to receive, should be set for a 50ml bag at 50ml/hr.” Clougher’s good catch prevented harm to her patient and resulted in a fix that will prevent a similar medication error from occurring in the future.

Executive Director of Patient Safety, Quality, Risk, Infection Control, CDI and Clinical Compliance Christi Clark Barney, MSN, RN, surprised Clougher with her award on 6 North in front of her co-workers. “Your patient safety report resulted in a hospital-wide change,” Barney said. “That diligence is truly exemplary nursing.”

Clougher was touched to be recognized with a Patient Safety Award. “Advocating for my patients has always been one of my priorities. Therefore, as you can imagine, this award really means a lot to me. I am truly grateful for the recognition,” she said of the honor.

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