As part of Cooper University Health Care’s involvement in the New Jersey High Reliability Organization (HRO) Collaborative, also known as New Jersey S.T.R.O.N.G., our goal is to train and educate staff on how to provide the best care to our patients in the safest environment.
There are six safety behaviors that align with New Jersey STRONG’s name and mission:
S – Speak Up for Safety
T – Think Critically
R – Reliably Communicate
O – On Task
N – No Harm
G – Got Your Back
Over the next several months, we will educate staff on how to apply these safety tips – and their associated error prevention tools – to real life, on-the-job situations.
N = No Harm:
All Cooper employees should understand what harm is to ensure that no harm occurs to patients and coworkers.
What should we do? Commit to doing no harm at Cooper by using the Stop the Line error prevention tool when faced with uncertainty.
Why should we do this? Individuals who proceed in the face of uncertainty are 10 times more likely to make an error that could harm a patient.
How can we achieve this goal? When we are uncertain, we should use the Stop the Line error prevention tool. Admitting that we do not know what to do or voicing uncertainty about a situation is a difficult human characteristic to overcome. The Stop the Line tool can help.
Stop the Line comes straight from the Toyota production system created in the 1980s. Toyota applied this tool for quality control using four principles:
- Detect the abnormality.
- Fix or correct the immediate condition.
- Investigate the root cause and install a countermeasure.
Most of us use the Stop the Line tool in our daily lives. For instance, imagine yourself driving:
- You make a wrong turn.
- You stop and think about what to do.
- You retrace your steps or use your GPS.
- You realize you made an error or bad judgment call.
If you suspect a potential risk to patient safety, you should immediately speak to your supervisor or a person who is designated to help.
Remember the three Ws:
- Say what you see.
- Say what you are concerned about.
- Say what you want to happen to keep things safe.
Never proceed into the face of uncertainty. Always review the plan, resolve the concern, and reassess your actions before continuing.