Gordon Center Helps Bascom Palmer Eye Institute Lead the Way in Responding to Emergencies

Bascom Palmer Eye Institute/Anne Bates Leach Eye Hospital is improving patient safety through ongoing staff training in responding to medical emergencies. With support from the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education, Bascom Palmer has initiated the Rapid Response Team, First Five Minutes training, and critical event learning simulations.

“Training to respond to emergencies as an effective team is critical to ensuring best patient outcomes,” said Ivette Motola, M.D., M.P.H., Director of the Division of Prehospital and Emergency Healthcare, Assistant Director of the Gordon Center for Research in Medical Education, and Director of Simulation Education for the UM/Jackson Memorial Hospital emergency medicine residency. “The collaboration between Bascom Palmer and the Gordon Center has brought innovative, high-impact training to help health care providers be as prepared as possible for these types of situations.”

“The safety training and education program resulted in improvements in teamwork, role assignments and self-reported confidence in responding to emergencies,” said Joanne Martin, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Nursing Officer of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute. “We appreciate our longstanding relationship with the Gordon Center. The training and support services have helped us provide a safer environment for patients, family members and employees.”

Bascom Palmer’s Rapid Response Team (RRT) was developed in 2010, according to Aldo Pavon Canseco, M.D., assistant professor of clinical medicine and Medical Director of Bascom Palmer Eye Institute.

“We standardized staff education to address challenging medical situations,” he said. “As a result, life-threatening emergencies have been managed appropriately and effectively.”

Dr. Pavon Canseco is also the RRT Physician Lead. The team includes an attending physician, nurse practitioner and registered nurses who quickly assess the situation, provide immediate care or transfer the patient to an emergency facility on campus as necessary.

Bascom Palmer’s RRT responds to approximately 150 incidents annually, according to Lina Utrera, RN, Director of Nursing, Inpatient and Ambulatory Surgery units. “A small percentage of these incidents are life-threatening emergencies.”

Since forming the RRT, Bascom Palmer continues to lead the way in patient safety training. For instance, RRT nurses are certified in advanced cardiac life support, as well as pediatric life support.

“Several years ago, we trained the nursing staff to intervene while awaiting RRT arrival,” said Rachel Duffner, RN, RRT Nurse Lead. “We collaborated with the Gordon Center to develop First Five Minutes (FFM) training, a mandatory annual competency for all registered nurses, nursing assistants and transporters — the people on the front lines.” The two-hour FFM course covers communication procedures, CPR skills and location of emergency crash carts. “We received great support from the leadership at Bascom Palmer, and our nursing compliance rate is 99 percent,” Duffner said.

More recently, Bascom Palmer teamed with the Gordon Center to implement quarterly simulated critical event training sessions, “Mock Codes,” among clinical departments and at various times of the day. “This method provides an opportunity for staff exposure to emergency scenarios,” Utrera said. “In each case, appropriate medical treatment, teamwork and systems response are assessed, and participants learn from this feedback.”

Reflecting on the importance of safety training at Bascom Palmer, Martin said, “The Gordon Center is a highly valued resource for our facility, and the entire medical campus.”

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