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Patient-Centered Care

Culture of Safety at Gila Regional

Photo Caption: Taffy Arias, CEO, leading the daily Safety Huddle at Gila Regional
(Left to right) Taffy Arias, CEO; Ray Goellner, Director of Pharmacy, Rennie Mariscal, Director of Discharge Planning; Peggy White, CNO and Ron Corbly, Interim Director of Facility Maintenance

Safety is important in everyone's life, but especially in a hospital where people come for medical care. Gila Regional Medical Center (GRMC) is recognized by The SafeCare Group® for Healthcare Excellence and ranks in the top 100 of all hospitals in the United States. Maintaining this safety rating is a focus of Taffy Arias, Chief Executive Office (CEO) at GRMC. She has a passion for safety and brings to the table many years of experience in clinical healthcare as both a bedside nurse and a Chief Nursing Office (CNO). A daily safety huddle is conducted with all hospital directors to address any safety issues that may have occurred within the past 24 hours and to consider any potential problems that may occur in the next 24. New speed bumps and signs have been added to the GRMC parking lot to help slow down traffic. Patient and caregiver injuries are closely monitored. Steps have been taken to reduce the incidence of patient falls with patients who may have trouble standing or walking.

"Zero, that is our goal" said CEO Taffy Arias. "We want zero incidents, accidents or injuries. These are very avoidable events if we keep safety first in our minds when taking care of our patients. Some patients will be fall risks, but there are precautions that can be taken to avoid injury; team lifting of patients and the use of proper lifting equipment will avoid back injuries. We use specialized systems to physically confirm the patient's identity. This includes a barcode scan of the patient's wrist band before any treatment or medication is administered."

Each day at 8:30am all of the hospital's leadership team come together for a fifteen minute meeting in the name of safety. The daily admissions and procedures are also reported to give a picture of how busy the nursing floors are. To improve efficiency in the Emergency Room, the wait times for patients are tracked with the goal of getting the patient from the door to the doctor as soon as possible. Each meeting starts with a "Safety Moment" and all are encouraged to be aware of their environment.

"These meetings truly bring awareness of the safety challenges that all hospitals face" added Gila Regional's CNO, Peggy White. "There have been changes at the hospital to improve patient care. Good work is occurring at GRMC every day by our caregivers to ensure patient safety. Patient safety is our number one priority."

Gila Regional Medical Center is a county-owned, not-for-profit, 68-bed acute care hospital with a strong commitment to the people they serve. Investments in technology and certified caregivers provide quality care delivery through a patient-centered approach. It is home to the Gila Regional Cancer Center; the Surgical Center of the Southwest and was rated a 4-Star Quality Care Hospital by the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services.

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