Put me in, coach! C&W safety and reliability coaches improve patient, employee safety and experience

March 15, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Strategy & Leadership, ,
Safety and reliability coaches are unit-based front-line staff who provide peer support and reinforce HRO and culture of safety practices.

A sports team’s coach. A lifestyle coach. A fitness coach. But a coach for…safety?

As a highly reliable organization: yes!

“Our safety and reliability coaches in our children’s and women’s hospitals are unit-based front-line staff who provide peer support and reinforce our HRO and culture of safety practices,” said Brittany Bogan, MHSA, FACHE, CPPS, administrative director of safety and quality for C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital.

Establishing safety and reliability coaches is a part of the HRO model, and Mott and Von Voigtlander served as the pilot site for Michigan Medicine by launching the first cohort of coaches in October 2021.

“The safety and reliability coaches help us teach, acknowledge and model HRO skills at the local level,” Bogan said. “The coaches empower their colleagues to put safety first in decision making, model the use of the HRO Universal Skills in daily activities and contribute to building a culture of respect and accountability within our units.”

Examples of this work include coaching on hand hygiene and auditing the care handoff process between team members.

Bogan noted that the safety and reliability coaches haven’t just had an impact on employee safety and experience.

“Our coaches are improving safety and our patient experience by supporting a strong culture of safety and reinforcing that it is of utmost importance in our hospital,” Bogan said.

The pilot cohort included coaches from six departments within children’s and women’s: Mott PACU, C&W Peds EEG, 8CAP, Peds Respiratory Care, Peds Radiology and 11 West.

A second cohort of safety coaches will undergo training this spring and will include staff from at least three units within Mott, as well as teams from the U-M Medical Group.

Patient Safety Awareness Week — which is being held across the organization this week —is the perfect time to recognize and thank Michigan Medicine’s safety and reliability coaches.

As Bogan said: “We’re already seeing the impact of these champions.”