HRO Tool of the Month: Validate and Verify

October 5, 2022  //  FOUND IN: Updates & Resources, ,

Approximately a 4-minute read

Key takeaways:

  • The HRO Tool of the Month is Validate and Verify, which is in direct correlation to the organization’s reliability skill of having a “questioning attitude.”
  • A questioning attitude is a habit of the mind that ensures that our choices are best for the given situation. It is both asking questions and questioning the answers. 
  • Use a questioning attitude every time you interpret information and every time you choose a rule from memory. 

The HRO Tool of the Month is Validate and Verify, which is in direct correlation to the organization’s reliability skill of having a “questioning attitude.”

What is a questioning attitude? 

According to HRO training, a questioning attitude is a habit of the mind that ensures that our choices are best for the given situation. It is both asking questions and questioning the answers. 

It is a known fact that many rule-based and knowledge-based errors occur when we are not thinking clearly.

At Michigan Medicine, we are committed to a culture of safety and reliability. As a result of this commitment, all are encouraged to think about what you are seeing and doing at all times. 

If things don’t make sense, stop and ask yourself or others a question. 

  • Validate the information
  • Verify the information

How should you use this tool? 

Use a questioning attitude every time you interpret information and every time you choose a rule from memory. 

First, qualify the source of the information. Is this source a good source for this information? Does this source have a history of being correct?

Next, validate the information. Validation is an internal consistency check. Does this information make sense? Is the information consistent with what I would expect?

Last, verify the information using an independent, qualified source when: the information is very important (high-risk), the information fails the source qualification or validation tests, or the information appears to have changed. 

Examples of Validate and Verify 

Example 1: An admitted patient had a ventricular assist device (VAD). The patient’s level of care stated he could be transported without cardiac monitoring. These orders were clarified, however, the primary nurse felt unsafe sending a VAD patient off the unit for a procedure without a VAD-trained nurse. 

Additionally, the primary nurse felt that the receiving pre-op nurse did not appear familiar with VAD-specialized care. Leadership paged the on-call VAD coordinator to voice concerns and personnel were dispatched to the UH pre-op area. Upon arrival to pre-op, the pre-op nurse verified that she had yet to be VAD-trained. The RN/ENC validated and verified with the charge nurse that VAD patients in pre-op need a VAD-trained staff member to remain with them in the perioperative setting. 

Therefore, an RN/ENC remained with the patient until the VAD coordinator arrived and assumed support/care. This story is a clear example of how having a questioning attitude and taking the time to validate and verify ensures that the appropriate care is being provided.   

Example 2: During a patient transfer, an ICU tech hooked up a nasal cannula device to an oxygen tank. Per standard process, it was tested for flow and didn’t sound “normal” to the tech. On further inspection, they found that the oxygen nipple was unscrewed to the point of almost being detached. Another tank that was functional was obtained and the patient was transferred without harm. This story is a clear example of how having a questioning attitude and taking the time to validate and verify ensures that the appropriate care is being provided.

Example 3: An HR representative reached out to verify an employee’s ID number when it appeared incorrect on a submitted timesheet. The discrepancy was corrected, leading to no disruption in payroll and other important paperwork.

Resources for all 

Leaders can use the leadership skill, Go and See, as a way to compliment the universal skill, Validate and Verify. By using Go and See, leaders can observe and learn from those who are hands on with the work.

Please check out these resources for more clarification on Universal Relationship Skills. There are downloadable and printable handouts that you can share with your team or hang in your areas. 

Validate and Verify One-page reference

Manager Talking Points – Think Say Do document

High Reliability Website

Refresh: HRO Universal Relationship Skills

Refresh: HRO Universal Skills eLearning Unit 6: Questioning Attitude (MLearning SAFE-90239)

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