One of the goals of National Nurses Week is to remind our hospital, community and the public of the critical role that nurses play. This year’s theme is “Culture of Safety, it starts with YOU,” and it is a subject important to all of us and our patients.
To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System, a landmark report issued in November 1999 by the U.S. Institute of Medicine, resulted in increased awareness of medical errors in the U.S. To Err Is Human found that between 44,000 and 98,000 hospitalized patients die each year from preventable medical errors. As nurses, we were shaken by this report, as “do no harm” is at the core of nursing.
Promoting a Culture of Safety is a journey and a vision we have committed to from the top down. It requires empowering every individual. In order for nurses to have confidence and feel safe to speak up, actions need to be taken. Our nurse leaders respond with transparency and accountability. They demonstrate this by listening to staff and encouraging the reporting of errors and near-misses, and ensuring that there will be no blame, finger pointing or risk of punishment.
As we continue our journey and have conversations about patient safety, we remember what a privilege it is to care for you – our patients. You are allowing us to provide care at the most vulnerable time in your lives. A true culture of safety is a way of life at Milford Regional Medical Center and must be part of everyday practice.
As we celebrate our profession and recognize our colleagues, I would like to thank our dedicated team of nurses for providing exceptional care to our patients at Milford Regional Medical Center.
Judy Kelly, RN, MHA, is the vice president of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer. Judy joined Milford Regional in 2008 and has served in management positions that have overseen Inpatient, Perioperative and Outpatient Services. Prior to joining Milford Regional, Judy held management positions at Caritas Norwood Hospital and Newton-Wellesley.