"Room of Errors" Puts Focus on Patient Safety at UVA
A new project at the University of Virginia Medical Center is putting a focus on patient safety. The Room of Errors is helping medical professionals put an end to everyday mistakes that could become life-threatening.
is helping medical professionals put an end to everyday mistakes that could become life-threatening.
Errors are part of the job, but this time, it is all staged. The Room of Errors is a simulated room in the pediatric intensive care unit that is staged with multiple potential safety hazards. Medical professionals are given seven minutes to go through the room and point out mistakes, which include everything from the basics of no hand sanitizer or gloves, to more technical things. Coordinators say the room teaches you what not to do.
For UVA Medical Center, it's all part of the goal to be one of the safest hospitals in the country. The project was founded by the Center for Academic Strategic Partnerships for Interprofessional Research and Education (ASPIRE).
Monday, nurses Lauren Turner and Patrick Ahern made their way through the room pointing out mistake after mistake. Ahern says the room offers a new perspective.
"We're always taught the right way to do things, so it's really helpful to not only see how much you learn - and learn from each other - but also to have it flipped around to where you see what can go wrong,” he stated.
Dr. Julie Haizlip, an associate professor and ASPIRE co-director, says the room isn't just for nurses. "There are nurses, respiratory therapists, we've had our housekeeper, our patient care assistants, all come through and look for anything that they can find in the room," she stated.
Researchers behind the project say 70 percent of errors in the hospital are because of lack of communication. So the focus is on teamwork, because what one person may not notice another one will and that could be life-saving.
"Individually most of the participants picked up between 20 and 30 errors and when they worked together they picked up more than 50,” said Haizlip.
“Sometimes the smallest little error within the room can be crucial to the patient outcome," stated Sandy Neumayr, manager of the pediatric ICU.
The project is just two months old. Right now they have only done simulations for patients in the pediatric ICU. The directors say soon they hope to expand that to all health professions.