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During Patient Safety Awareness Week, the Pharmacy and 7 North are focused on Teamwork Across Units

Teamwork Across Units

Last year, Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital surveyed staff working 20 hours or more with direct contact to patients using the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality’s (AHRQ) Safety Culture Survey. Our results showed continued improvement in many areas, however Teamwork Across Units proved to be an area of concern. This Patient Safety Awareness Week, we would like to highlight the Pharmacy’s and 7 North’s collaboration to make improvements to safety culture.

“Both my staff and the 7 North nursing staff have identified gaps when coordinating care together,” says Director of Pharmacy Services Joshua Guerin, PharmD, MBA.

Guerin explains that Pharmacy Technicians have noted that when medications are delivered to the floor, there is sometimes confusion by the floors regarding where certain medications are stored. “When this happens, we get phone calls to the Pharmacy inquiring where the medication is located. This can sometimes cause frustration between both departments,” says Guerin.

To encourage better teamwork, Guerin is partnering with 7 North Nurse Directors Brenda Miele, MSN, RN, and Juliet Gleason, MBA, MSN, RN, to pilot an improvement project on their unit with potential to be deployed across the hospital. “To get a better understanding of the issues, I attended a recent 7 North Unit Based Council Meeting,” says Guerin. “As a result, we’ve come up with several ideas.”

Of many initiatives planned, Guerin has committed to:

  • Evaluating standard times for Pharmacy staff to refill medications to the 7 North Omnicell.
  • Understanding why patient-specific medications are reported missing by utilizing a logbook in the 7 North Medication room.

7 North’s leadership has committed to:

  • Investigating the feasibility of assigning a dedicated nurse to witness controlled substance medication deliveries from Pharmacy staff.

The above efforts plan to help improve teamwork between both departments to provide safer, more efficient care to our patients.

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