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Patient Safety

Health care that uses a “just culture” approach to patient safety (David Marx) has an open, fair environment. It’s where we learn from mistakes, and missteps are a chance to change to the system. Although we don’t deliver health care in a hands-on manner, we at Paramount share this philosophy with ProMedica facilities and practices, and with several other Paramount network hospitals.

Patient safety is a driving force behind our business activities—with the safety, health and well-being of members being the number one priority. Topics that we focus on are medication safety, prevention of accidents (especially falls), and having a good relationship with providers.

We encourage our providers to learn more about all the ways that we at Paramount promote patient safety for our members. As always, we value your input and ask you to share your ideas about patient safety with us, at quality@promedica.org or by calling our quality improvement department.

Member Awareness about Patient Safety

Our members receive valuable patient safety information in newsletter articles, special fliers, on-hold phone messages, and from this website. We inform them about safety topics that range from proper use of a walker to the risks of dehydration in newborns. On occasion we deliver our patient safety messages face-to-face by participating in health fairs and educational programs. And last but not least, we constantly urge members to bring their questions and safety concerns to their health care providers.

Resources for Providers to Share

As a health care provider, you feel a strong sense of responsibility that results in a dedicated pursuit of patient safety. We at Paramount understand this imperative, and we want to help you meet this goal. That’s why we make a variety of print materials from credible sources available for doctors and other providers to share with their patients. We select and design this patient literature with reading levels in mind and aim to use language that is simple and free of complex jargon.

Our goal for offering these materials is to foster dialogue between you and your patients. Below is a partial list of these resources. We will gladly supply printed copies upon request (English and Spanish versions when both are available), or find, create or reproduce others that may be of value to your practice.

Educational Offerings for Providers

To help busy health care practitioners and their office personnel stay up-to-date on patient safety issues, we at Paramount offer several educational resources. For example, we encourage practitioners to become familiar with the Physicians Practice Patient Safety Assessment, part of IHI's tools. Paramount’s Network News offers hints for promoting patient safety, and reports annual outcome data that allows for self-assessment. Finally, we urge practitioners to review AHRQ’s Impact Case Studies, evidence-based tools and resources to improve quality and safety of health care.

Supporting Patient-Provider Communication

Low health literacy and limited English proficiency (LEP) are factors that can compromise patient safety and overall quality of care. Studies have shown that more than 36% of adults in our region do not have health literacy skills sufficient to make sound health care decisions for themselves and their families. We at Paramount advocate the use of carefully worded messages that can easily understood in the first place, and be effectively interpreted, signed or translated.

As you know, communication is more than just a verbal exchange. Speaking, hearing, viewing, writing, reading, signing, and touching are all means of communication that may require a practitioner’s extra attention to ensure that a patient understands the message. We also encourage use of illustrations, models and the “Teach Back” method for patient-practitioner discussions that contain an element of patient safety risk – particularly informed consent, diagnosis of chronic conditions, and emergent care.

Learn more about arranging for Interpreter Services.

Quality of Care Investigations

Since patient safety and well-being are goals of our quality of care program, we take member feedback very seriously at Paramount. On occasion, a member or member’s representative may notify us of a concern about the quality of his or her care. We have a formal process to review the complaint. Our policy requires that we investigate quality of care reports to the fullest, and act accordingly. Each review is conducted by a medical director.

Depending on the findings, most reported issues are monitored and factored into recredentialing or contract renewal. In a small number of these cases, a corrective action plan may be required from the provider. Every year, our Medical Advisory Council reviews a summary report of quality of care complaints, and applies the just culture approach to recommend program changes when they are needed.