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ECMC – Taking Control of Disruptive Healthcare Events

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Client Case Study: Erie County Medical Center

Taking Control of Disruptive Healthcare Events: Leveraging Quantros Solutions to Support Regulatory and Patient Safety Goals


The Challenge

In the Fall of 2008 Dr. Brian Murray, the Chief Medical Officer at Erie County Medical Center (ECMC), located in Buffalo, New York made a crucial decision. He assembled the ECMC Medical Executive Committee (MEC) and initiated a comprehensive review of the organization’s policies and efforts surrounding disruptive events. After many cross-departmental meetings and reviews of The Joint Commission (TJC) and ASHRM standards, it became clear that the group had a major challenge. As Ann Victor-Lazarus, Vice President of Patient Advocacy for ECMC put it “We found ourselves struggling to capture and organize all the disruptive event information we needed.”

The Solution

ECMC had been using Quantros Safety and Risk Management (SRM) Safety Event Manager solution since the beginning of 2007. This comprehensive electronic event self-reporting, event tracking, monitoring and workflow management solution had streamlined ECMC preventable medical error improvement efforts. In a real-time, hosted environment, SRM was used
by ECMC for identifying safety issues and track intervention performance.

ECMC turned to Quantros for a solution to their challenge concerning disruptive events and found a system that addressing their specific needs and requirements. Quantros Disruptive Event Manager (DEM), part of the SRM product family, is an integrated SRM module that streamlines disruptive behavior management and improvement efforts and addresses the need for sensitivity and confidentiality during the investigation and management of behavioral issues. With Quantros DEMTM healthcare organizations like ECMC can rapidly:

  • Capture and log disruptive events in a separate, confidential environment
  • Assign managers, schedule and track follow-up tasks
  • Document actions and resolutions to ensure compliance with regulations
  • Generate meaningful reports for constant monitoring, analysis and decision support

Key Results

Quantros DEMTM has helped ECMC successfully adopt an organization-wide culture of patient safety and a more proactive disruptive event management:

  • Ensuring appropriate and timely event review and feedback takes place
  • Routing the event based on the conflict source to ensure confidentiality
  • Timely review of action plans or reports of completed activities

MEC members were thrilled to find such a simple solution to such a time-consuming challenge.

“Turning on the Quantros DEM solution was as simple as flipping a switch,” said Victor-Lazarus.

While Quantros DEM was simple to implement, it was only one component of a comprehensive ECMC disruptive event management and patient safety initiative in the latter half of 2008. In addition to Quantros DEM system adoption, ECMC assembled a project team that included a group of super-users, leadership sponsors and the Quantros Professional Services team to facilitate this organization-wide initiative.

The project team left no stone unturned as they created and implemented a comprehensive plan to improve the way ECMC managed disruptive events. Critical tasks that were part of the endeavor included adjusting policies and bylaws, conducting a complete review of Quantros DEM functionality and definitions and creating a detailed training plan for system and process rollout.

“What I really like about Quantros is how promptly they respond to feedback and requests,” said Victor-Lazarus. “For example, we needed definitions to appear next to each category to ensure organization-wide consistency. Their rapid response at every turn helped us complete a huge undertaking within our desired timeframe.”

The Solution

Quantros DEM is a core component in support of ECMC’s enterprise-wide culture focused efforts for providing a safe, non-hostile work and care environment. ECMC now has a system that supports the entire disruptive event workflow and provides valuable insight to the personnel assigned with ongoing improvement efforts. Quantros DEM has helped ECMC use a more directed approach to disruptive event management including:

  • Ensuring appropriate and timely event review and feedback takes place
  • Routing the event based on the conflict source to ensure confidentiality
  • Timely review of action plans or reports of completed activities, including quarterly with MEC

ECMC felt that appropriate disruptive event routing and review was critical. At weekly Senior ECMC administrators, including the CEO and COO, review action plans and reports of completed activities every week. Using Quantros DEM, ECMC now has a complete system to meet TJC standards and support staff in a safe environment.

“We want to be a leader and an example for other healthcare organizations in the area of disruptive event management,” Victor-Lazarus said. “Quantros DEM is helping us make that happen.”

About ECMC

ECMC is one of the country’s most modern, functional and efficient health care delivery systems. ECMC is a regional center for trauma, burn, rehabilitation and cardiac care, and is also a major teaching facility for the University at Buffalo. ECMC encompasses:

  • 550 inpatient beds, 3 Intensive Care Units and 156 skilled nursing home beds
  • On and off-campus health centers with over 40 outpatient specialty clinics
  • Erie County Home — a 586 bed facility
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