Leaders of a staff-initiated campaign to protect patients from fire in the operating room brought home the national award that their effort won for JPS and shared the news Thursday with the Tarrant County Hospital District Board of Managers. The National Patient Safety Foundation named JPS the winner of its 2013 Stand Up For Patient Safety Management Award, recognizing "successful implementation of an outstanding patient safety initiative."
"I'm here today to be able to introduce some of the team," Trudy Sanders, vice president of Patient Services, told board members. First up: Kathy Alexander, staff development coordinator in Perioperative Services, who also is president of the Fort Worth chapter of the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN.) Other members of the Operating Room Fire Safety Committee at JPS include nurses Socorro Sanders, Lauren Smith, Deb Stuart and Lolita Yraola; and surgical techs Gladys Bowen, Catherine Killough and Ellen Schroeder.
Announced on May 1, the award was formally presented in New Orleans during the foundation's annual Patient Safety Congress, May 8-10.
"That is awesome," exclaimed Trent Petty, chairman of the board. "This is a tremendous display of initiative and creativity."
Although relatively rare and never a problem at JPS, surgical fires are among the top technology related hazards in hospitals, and are potentially devastating events. The danger arises from the combination of alcohol-based prep agents, open oxygen, and surgical equipment such as lasers and electrocautery units.