March 12, 2010

Senator Moore Makes “Rounds” at Harrington Hospital

SOUTHBRIDGE, Mass. - March 12, 2010 - State Senator Richard T. Moore went on a Patient Safety "WalkaRound" at Harrington Hospital on March 12 in recognition of National Patient Safety Awareness Week, which runs from March 7 through March 13.

Senator Moore, D-Uxbridge, who serves as Chairman of the Massachusetts Legislature's Committee on Health Care Financing, was led on his rounds by Harrington President and CEO Edward Moore and Peg Skowron, Harrington's Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety.

Skowron showed the Senator the hospital's efforts at educating patients on safety and quality issues, such as Harrington's stepped up screening of patients for various highly infectious diseases and the attention paid to hand washing by staff before they interact with patients.

Kathy Chahanovich, Nurse Manager of the Medical Surgical units, and Craig Langevin, Patient Care Assistant, showed Senator Moore the hospital's state-of-the-art Overbed Lift system that allows staff to use an electronic device to safely lift patients in the hospital's newly renovated patient rooms. Chahanovich and Langevin demonstrated the process on Timothy Greene, the Senator's Director of Constituent Relations.

"This has all been very impressive," Senator Moore said. "These are all steps in the right direction when it comes to patient safety, so you make sure people get better when they come to a hospital."

Before the tour, Senator Moore, Skowron and CEO Moore discussed state healthcare issues with Harrington Chief Financial Officer Tom Sullivan and Harrington Chief Operating Officer Doug Crapser.

"We take patient safety very seriously at Harrington, and we are honored to have Senator Moore visit us during Patient Safety Awareness week," said CEO Moore. "As Chair of the Legislature's Committee on Health Care Financing, Senator Moore is very knowledgeable about health care matters."

Harrington has made quality and safety top priorities in 2010, creating the new position of Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety this past fall and instituting regular patient safety rounds in the hospital. For National Patient Safety Awareness Week, the hospital set up signage to educate employees about near misses and why they should be reported. Displays on tables and on signage around the hospital and its Webster outpatient facility - Harrington HealthCare at Hubbard - explain that a near miss is when someone stops an action before a patient, visitor or staff member is harmed.

"When everyone reports near misses, trends are identified and systems can be put into place to make everyone safer," said Skowron, the Vice President of Quality and Patient Safety.