More than 70,000 Atrium Health teammates work hard to keep you safe when you are in our care. Find out how we keep you safe, even during a global pandemic, when you are in our care – and how you, too, can be a part of safe care.

Your Health, News | 7 months ago

How Atrium Health Works Hard to Provide the Safest Care

More than 70,000 Atrium Health teammates work hard to keep you safe when you are in our care. Find out how we keep you safe, even during a global pandemic, when you are in our care – and how you, too, can be a part of safe care.

At Atrium Health, we have a track record of clinical excellence, including being ranked nationally among U.S. News & World Report’s Best Hospitals in eight pediatric specialties and having two of its top-ranked hospitals, as well as being awarded more “A” hospital safety grades by Leapfrog than any other health system in North Carolina. A major part of that recognition is our dedication to keeping patients safe across all of our care facilities, whether it is at one of our 38 hospitals or 1,400 locations across the Carolinas, Georgia and Alabama.

Our focus on safety involves every member of our team, every single day.

“For me, patient safety hits close to home as I had a loved one who passed away from medical negligence,” says Atrium Health President and CEO Eugene A. Woods. “Throughout my career, I’ve always believed that safety is fundamental in everything we do. We all play an important role in keeping our patients – and our teammates and visitors – safe. Whether that means speaking up when necessary, getting vaccinated, washing our hands or even taking a quick pause to double check something, we must act together to keep everyone safe.”

Here are some of the many ways we work hard to provide the safest care possible.

How the Care Environment Affects Providing the Safest Care

We have safety measures and processes for each care provider – that we continually monitor and measure – in place across all locations, so you can feel confident and comfortable each time you visit us. We keep our care environment safe through:

  • Implementing enhanced cleaning regimens. Disinfecting is second nature to us and part of our normal procedures. As part of our COVID-Safe care, we’ve increased those regimens.
  • Reducing infection spread. We require flu, measles, COVID-19 and other vaccinations for our staff, students, vendors and volunteers as a condition of employment.
  • Requiring wearing of appropriate personal protective equipment, including masks. When inside our locations we want to ensure you are protected. We also work to reduce infection in our communities through initiatives like community vaccination, testing and mask distribution sites, which helps reduce the chances of infection everywhere – not just when in the hospital.
  • Continually improving and reviewing our protocols. We are always looking for ways to improve and have required education for every teammate on safety, including a new education program to help leaders reinforce and encourage safety practices.

The Role our Teammates Play in Providing the Safest Care

Our teammates each have a personal responsibility to keep you safe. In 2020, Atrium Health set the national standard for COVID-Safe care by being the first health system in our region to re-open expanded delivery of care in spring 2020 by introducing enhanced safety protocols at the beginning of the COVID pandemic. 

Here are some of the things we actively promote:

  • Cleaning our hands. It sounds basic, but it is one of the most important things our teammates do to keep you safe.
  • Encouraging everyone to speak up. By creating a space for everyone at all levels to call out any issues and check on each other, it creates a safer care environment for everyone.
  • Constantly conducting research. We examine new ways to encourage safety, including an annual Quality & Patient Experience Sharing Day when teammates share teammate research that contributes to safer patient care.

We also have specialized teams you may never see who are behind the scenes helping keep you safe, including:

  • Safety Specialists. These teammates observe and provide reminders and coaching on best practices. Any time there is new information or things that need to be reinforced, these teammates jump into action to help keep our focus on safety.
  • Quality Analysts. These teammates look for trends and opportunities. We keep track of a lot of data to help us identify places for continual improvement. Our analysts look at trends in healthcare, trends in our organization and even trends at each hospital and on each unit. We use all the information we have available to help us stay continually focused on the importance of safety.
  • Pharmacists. These teammates play a critical role in monitoring the antibiotics we use to make sure that we are picking the safest and best ones for each patient. 

How You Contribute to the Safest Care

As a patient, you play a very important role as we work hard to provide the safest care. You can participate in your own safety by:

  • Asking us questions. We love it when our patients ask us questions about their care – from asking why we are using a specific medication, to asking us if we’ve washed our hands. Pay attention and if something does not feel right, speak up to your care team.
  • Preventing falls. Many patients need help to get up and use the bathroom. Please listen to your care provider if they ask you not to get up on your own. It can be hard to ask for help for something that feels simple – like getting out of bed, but it’s an important part of keeping you safe.
  • Taking medications safely.  Keep a detailed list of all medications that you are taking, and why you are taking them. If you have any allergies, be sure to notify your care team.
  • Cleaning your hands. Cleaning your hands before eating and after using the bathroom – and reminding your visitors to do the same – will keep you safer.

Learn more about our patient safety program.