American Academy of Pediatrics
Safer Health Care for Kids
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Safety Tips Archive

Check out these strategies you can apply today in your practice setting.

Get Parents Involved

A culture of safety involves regular and clear communication between the health care team, patients, and their families.  Parents and caregivers should be informed about all aspects of care, treatment, or services that their child is receiving, and they should be encouraged to share information that might prevent errors or potential adverse events.  They should also be educated on available reporting methods for concerns related to care, treatment, or services and patient safety issues.

For more information on this 2009 National Patient Safety Goal from The Joint Commission, Click Here.

Hand Hygiene

Health care-associated infections (HAIs) are widespread, costly, and a serious risk to the delivery of safe health care to children.  There is substantial evidence demonstrating that hand hygiene significantly reduces the incidence of HAIs.  Despite this knowledge, there is low compliance with hand hygiene techniques among health care workers, organizational leaders, managers, and policy makers. The WHO Collaborating Centre for Patient Safety Solutions proposes that, “multimodal, multidisciplinary strategies that focus on system change offer the greatest chance of success in terms of hand hygiene improvement and infection reduction.”

For more information on this solution from the WHO Collaborating Centre for Patient Safety Solutions, Click Here.

‘Do Not Use’ List of Abbreviations

Medical abbreviations have long aided clinicians in reducing time to document visits and write prescriptions.  Unfortunately, many of these abbreviations have been written poorly, interpreted incorrectly, and have resulted in avoidable medical errors.  In May 2005, The Joint Commission affirmed its “do not use” list of abbreviations list as part of the requirements for meeting National Patient Safety Goal Requirement 2B (Standardize a list of abbreviations, acronyms and symbols that are not to be used throughout the organization).  The list includes 5 common abbreviations that can result in medical errors: U (unit); IU (International Unit); QD(daily) /QOD (every other day); trailing zeros (1.0); and MSO4 (morphine sulfate) and MgSO4 (magnesium sulfate).  These abbreviations should not be used. 
For more information on the Joint Commission abbreviations, Click Here.





















Physicians' Foundation for Health Systems Excellence

The Safer Health Care for Kids program is supported by a grant from Physicians’ Foundation for Health Systems Excellence.