Being new, I’m able to observe the team here at Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey fulfill the spirit of patient safety.  There are many rules and regulations centered on patient care from regulatory agencies, like The Joint Commission and the State of New Jersey’s Department of Health and Human Services, among others.  Care and compassion are those extra ingredients to delivering safe and effective patient care.  It takes a team to get our patients to their next journey, and the team at Acuity work cohesively and simultaneously to make it happen.

Pilots perform safety checks before aircraft takeoffs.  Passengers are unaware that the dangerous part of the flight is the takeoff not the landing!  When a patient comes to our hospital, it is similar to takeoff.  We are launching them to the next level of care which can be home, rehabilitation or skilled nursing facilities, to name a few. There are many layers of recovery and each person on the team has a part in making sure that our patients travel through the layers safe and secure. The thrust for takeoff is enormous, and the work our patients must do to reach recovery is sometimes overwhelming.

If we look at the team as a huge wheel, we can see that the wheel will roll only if all the parts are intact. All the parts have to perform together. If there is a break in the system, it will not work. Each clinician on the multidisciplinary team has to do their part for the safety of all patients.  From those caring for the environment to those at the bedside, each plays a part in the wheel of care and the hub of safety.  Patients need to feel safe in their environment to return to prior levels of functioning and health.

I have been in healthcare for a long time, and one thing I know is there is always room to improve our practice and learn new things. We must keep our minds and hearts open, for as time goes on, it is inevitable that we see safer ways of accomplishing the same goal.  Our goal is to help each other and help the patient. Many eyes, hearts and heads can overcome insurmountable obstacles, and the team at Acuity can move mountains.  As some of our patients say, “I came here as a last resort, when I had given up hope!”  We watch them walk out our doors, happy to have a new lease on life.  The greatest joy is the pride in both the giver and receiver of care.

The daily commitment exhibited by the team is evidenced in the great outcomes of our patients.  I am honored to be part of this team as they journey for quality care and safety for all patients!

By, Sandra Larson RN MSN DQM, Director of Quality, Acuity Specialty Hospital of Southern New Jersey