How We're Getting Better

How We're Getting Better

We're proud of our safety and quality record, but we're always pursuing ways to improve. Here is a small sample of programs we've started to get even better at the things that matter most to you and your loved ones.

Clean Hands Save Lives

We have one of the strongest, most stringent hand-washing programs in the country. If this sounds simple, it is. But research shows that if providers have clean hands every time they see a patient, the result is fewer infections, which means fewer complications and deaths.

We don't just ask doctors, nurses and other providers whether they've washed their hands. We've placed anonymous monitors throughout the medical center to report on what they see, so our data comes from the real world. We also have a number of programs in place to remind and encourage our providers to wash their hands at certain times to help protect patients. This method is the gold standard recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) and Center for Disease Control (CDC).


Reducing Adverse Events

We have special teams in place to help prevent pressure ulcers in 21 Vanderbilt University Hospital units. We've phased in more safety products and targeted high-risk ares, and the result has been a major decrease in patients with hospital acquired pressure ulcers.


Fall Prevention

Our fall prevention teams include experts from a wide range of fields, including physical therapy, pharmacology and nursing. Our goal is to establish special fall prevention rounds that focus on reducing patient falls throughout the medical center.


Pioneer Program

The Pioneer Program is an intensive, yearlong, educational program that advances a culture of patient safety, improvement, and reliability at VUMC. Pioneer status gives programs special resources for focused quality and safety improvement projects. Participants get training and technical support from specialized faculty to ensure success.


Enhanced Safety Measures

Based on the guidelines of the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations, we follow programs and practices that reduce treatment errors and infection:

Computerized medical record system: Gives providers at-the-bedside electronic access to information about a patient's condition, medications and treatment plan. Cuts down on time needed to find medical records and streamlines the use of medical information, so your provider can diagnose and treat you quicker and more efficiently.

Bar-coded medication verification system: Reduces errors in medication type and dosage. This feature also cuts down on harmful drug interactions.

Information campaign: We educate patients and their families about routine safety checks related to tests, medications and surgeries