The Safety Star Award: Celebrating Excellence in Physician Offices

LHA Trust Funds is known for annually recognizing Louisiana healthcare facilities with the Safety Star award.

But did you know physicians’ offices and clinics are also eligible for their own version of the Safety Star Award? Established in 2021, the Physician’s Trust Safety Star Award honors one physicians’ office/clinic and its efforts to improve patient safety or quality of care each year.

Delve into a Safety Star Award-winning project from Willis Knighton Urology and ENT Clinics, learn from other award winners, and consider why your organization should consider applying during our ongoing 2023 nomination season.

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Improving Patient Safety

Four physicians — Donald Elmajian of WK Urologic Cancer Care, Betsey Harrell of Shreveport Urology WK, Kevin Moore of WK Bossier ENT, and Christopher Wilson of Ark La Tex Urology — collectively identified concerns in their ENT and urology outpatient clinics about the education, storage, handling, and reprocessing of cystoscopes.

Cystoscopes are vital medical equipment when it comes to diagnosing and treating patients in an ENT/urology outpatient clinic. All four physicians worried that the increasing price and lengthy downtime associated with cystoscope repairs were negatively influencing their ability to provide quality patient care.

In response to this challenge, they developed a process to better mitigate the handling, transport, cleaning, and repair of cystoscopes. They also entered a third-party partnership for scope maintenance and repairs.

Since its implementation, the project has reduced the number of broken cystoscopes, decreased the turnaround time for repairs, and provided loaner cystoscopes to staff once a repair request is submitted.

Preventing Patient Falls

Patient falls don’t just happen in hospitals. They can occur in physician offices and surgery centers too.

GastroIntestinal Specialists, A.M.C realized there was an opportunity to reduce the risk of patient falls at their Shreveport Endoscopy Center by investing in front-clip wheelchair seatbelts. The seatbelts prevent patients from slipping out of a wheelchair while being discharged.

The goal? To eliminate patient falls from wheelchairs post-procedure and throughout the discharge process. The belts also provide additional security for patients who are seated in a wheelchair during the discharge process.

GIS also revamped its discharge process and conducted staff training on proper wheelchair procedures. That training is now a part of all new hire orientations at the facility.

No patient falls from wheelchairs have occurred since the project was completed. The new belts serve as a visual reminder of safety awareness for staff members and the GIS commitment to keep patients safe.

Are You Our Next Safety Star?

The Safety Star Award for Physicians’ Offices and Clinics recognizes ideas and processes that successfully improve patient safety or quality of care. Award recipients receive:

  • A $10,000 cash award
  • A recognition luncheon for your project team
  • Recognition by LHA Trust Funds on our website, in our promotional materials, and to our members

The Safety Star Award also provides physicians a way to share their patient safety initiatives with other clinicians.

"This is your chance to shine the light on and share with others these innovative ideas so that you might potentially help others solve a problem in healthcare," says Stacie Jenkins, Vice President of Patient Safety and Risk at LHA Trust Funds.

Has your physicians’ office or clinic improved a process or program that, in turn, enhanced patient care or quality of care? Apply now!

Physicians' offices and clinics apply here.

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