Text size:

Memorial Safety and Quality Healthcare Programs

What Is Memorial Healthcare System's Patient Care Philosophy?

Memorial Healthcare System is dedicated to surpassing customer expectations. Every decision is based on the best interest of patients and their families – our partners in health care. Through excellence in safety, quality and service, we strive to ensure our patients and their families receive the health care services, information, access, collaboration and support they need. Treating patients and families with compassion, dignity and respect brings humanity to health care. We are dedicated to improving the health, well-being and, most of all, quality of life for the people entrusted to our health care services. Touching lives, lifting spirits and healing the human body is our profession's greatest privilege and our greatest reward.

What Programs Are in Place to Enhance Quality Healthcare Services and Safety for Patients?

Patient- and Family-Centered Care (PFCC)

The purpose of Patient- and Family-Centered Care (PFCC) is to achieve optimal results and enhance the safety of the patients and quality of health care services by treating patients and their families as partners on the health care team. Memorial Healthcare System offers unrestricted visiting hours to meet the needs of patients and their families. Information-sharing helps families make decisions about current and continuing health care.

24-Hour Physician Coverage in the Intensive Care Units (ICU)

At Memorial Regional Hospital and Memorial Hospital West, specially trained critical care physicians (intensivists) work with attending and consulting physicians to oversee the health care of patients in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). Daily rounds focus on patient- and family-centered health care using proven procedures and practices. Positive results of this program include:

  • Reduced mortality
  • Improved use of tests (radiology, laboratory, etc.)
  • Reduced length of hospital stay
  • Shorter patient processing time through the Emergency Department
  • Decreased ventilator days
  • Fewer ventilator-associated pneumonia cases
  • Reduced catheter-associated bloodstream infections

24-Hour Physician Coverage in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and Pediatric Cardiac Care Unit (PCCU)

At Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, the PICU and PCCU are staffed by board-certified and fellowship-trained pediatric intensive care physicians who provide 24-hour in-house medical/surgical care for critically ill or injured children. They communicate regularly with pediatric subspecialists and primary care physicians regarding coordination of care, discharge and follow-up.

Elements that make our program unique include:

  • Daily multidisciplinary rounds
  • Extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO), a lifesaving procedure for patients with severe respiratory or cardiopulmonary problems
  • A dedicated pediatric transport team that is PICU-based and allows the team members to maintain their critical care skills in the field
  • Dedicated pediatric intensive care team of physicians, nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, social workers and care coordinators
  • Unrestricted visiting hours for families

Hospitalist (Physicians Specializing in Hospital Care) Program

Memorial Hospitalist Group, employed by Memorial Healthcare System, provides safe, high-quality, short-term health care services for inpatients without a primary care physician at Memorial Regional Hospital and Memorial Hospital Pembroke. Specializing in internal medicine, these physicians provide continuity of care through timely, ongoing communication with other physicians, health care personnel and patients and families.

Pediatric Hospitalist (Physicians Specializing in Hospital Care) Program

The pediatric hospitalist service at Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital is staffed by a dedicated team of highly trained pediatricians committed to providing extraordinary inpatient care. Available 24 hours a day, these in-house physicians manage the care of young patients on our medical and surgical units and communicate regularly with primary care physicians and pediatricians regarding specific services, discharge and follow-up care.

Rapid Response Teams

Rapid Response Teams assist in the evaluation, troubleshooting and management of patients who exhibit critical changes in their conditions. Any staff member can initiate the call for the team, quickly bringing critical health care experts to a patient's bedside.

Safety Alerts

Through our Safety Alert Program, Memorial Healthcare System promotes the full communication of safety concerns. If a patient requires immediate assessment of care, treatment, needs or status, any employee, staff member, medical or allied health staff member may initiate a safety alert. This is a proactive way to help ensure our patients remain safe and receive high-quality care.

Help Alert

Memorial Healthcare System has implemented a Help Alert system that can be activated by any patient or family member by dialing 88 on an internal phone. The Help Alert provides family members an effective way to communicate their concerns and obtain assistance for a loved one in an urgent situation.

Recognition Awards

Memorial's recognition program was created to honor employees, physicians and volunteers for their achievements in and commitment to providing a healing environment that is safe, efficient, customer focused, and of superior health care service quality. The program is intended to encourage people to take initiative on behalf of patients and their families. Members of the healthcare system may nominate a colleague who has taken action that creates an extraordinary experience for patients, families or colleagues in any of a myriad of ways, for example preventing an error during a procedure, providing stellar customer service in resolving a billing question, or taking steps to accommodate a patient's special need or request. Honorees are recognized in their own workplace and during a systemwide recognition celebration.

Just Culture

Memorial Healthcare System promotes a Just Culture, which is designed to create an atmosphere where individual and organizational accountability go hand-in-hand with the quest for knowledge and best possible outcomes. Preventing or correcting a problem or error requires clear understanding of the cause. A Just Culture acknowledges the differences between human error, at-risk behavior and reckless error. The goal is to design procedures and systems that anticipate and strive to avert human error. When an error does occur, the review process includes an investigation of the cause, consequences and intention. This leads to more open communication, enhanced decision-making and appropriate solutions.

Crew Resource Management TrainingSafety and Quality

Our safety program, Crew Resource Management Training, uses proven aviation procedures to improve hospital processes and save more lives. The program is designed to empower employees, identify red flags and reduce barriers and breakdowns in communication to ensure the delivery of safe, quality healthcare. We are one of the first healthcare organizations in Florida to implement this program. www.saferpatients.com

Pause for the Cause

Pause for the Cause is a time-out prior to starting surgical procedures. To provide safe quality health care services and prevent medical errors and adverse outcomes, the medical team checks the following:

  • Procedure
  • Correct surgical site
  • Administration of antibiotics
  • Known allergies
  • Location and availability of special equipment

Is Memorial Healthcare System Involved in Other Safety- and Quality-Related Training?

Health Research and Education Trust (HRET) – Patient Safety Leadership Fellowships

Health Research and Education Trust (HRET), a not-for-profit research and educational affiliate of the American Hospital Association, studies healthcare issues and provides education about healthcare policies and their effects on the health care industry. Memorial Healthcare System participates in HRET's one-year Patient Safety Leadership Fellowship program, which provides intensive training experience for health care professionals.

How Is Memorial Healthcare System Using Technology to Enhance Patient Safety?

Special Computer SystemsSafety and Quality

Memorial Healthcare System is working to automate many processes used in the delivery of safe, high-quality patient care. These advanced systems include:

Automated Pharmacy System

The automated pharmacy system provides an easy way for doctors to enter their orders into the computer. The enhanced safety features include alerts for:

  • Possible drug allergies
  • Potential risks
  • Duplicate treatments
  • Documentation of patient allergies before medication can be ordered

Barcode Medication Administration and Documentation

Using barcode technology, nurses and doctors electronically document medication being given to patients. Before medication is administered, the medication's bar code and patient's identification bracelet are both scanned. Computerizing this process alerts healthcare providers to possible drug allergies and potential risks, and helps to ensure what is known in the healthcare industry as "The Five Rights of Medication Administration." These include:

  • Right patient (identify the correct patient for the medication)
  • Right drug (identify the correct medication for the patient)
  • Right dose (identify the correct amount being given to the patient)
  • Right route of administration (identify that the medication being given is in the correct form – swallowing, chewing, injection, etc.)
  • Right frequency (identify the correct time the medication is being given to the patient)

Medical Record Documentation

Computerized clinical documentation in many patient care areas allows healthcare staff to obtain patient information in one location. With computer documentation of vital signs, intake/output, nursing assessments, nursing notes, charting and progress notes, healthcare staff can quickly obtain the information they need to make critical decisions. Created and implemented with the patient in mind, computerized clinical documentation's benefits include:

  • Clear, legible, real-time records
  • Access to patients' charts and information
  • Reduced redundancy in documentation
  • The ability for a number of doctors and staff to access patient information at the same time

Computerized Physician Order Entry

Computerized Physician Order Entry (CPOE) allows physicians to enter orders for treatment, tests and consultations directly into computer software that captures and transmits the information. This helps prevent medical errors that occur from verbal orders that are inaccurately recorded or handwritten orders that are hard to read. Successful use of CPOE leads to safer, more efficient, higher-quality care.


Is Your Doctor a Memorial Doctor?
To find a physician who is committed to South Florida healthcare services, call Memorial Physician Referral Service toll-free at (800) 944-DOCS. We're available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.