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Meg McGoldrick
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Abington (PA) Memorial Hospital

Involving the board in patient safety means more than a boardroom discussion at Abington Memorial Hospital, where board members participate in patient safety rounds at the 570-staffed-bed hospital. Meg McGoldrick, Abington's executive vice president and chief operating officer, explains how both board members and staff benefit from this process.

McGoldrick: We've been doing patient safety rounds for years. Two years ago, we began a process of focusing the board on patient safety. We began to invite them to our monthly patient safety rounds. The trustees find it very valuable because they get a chance to understand how things work in a hospital. Things in a hospital are so complicated, and this boils it down to where the care is delivered.

On one of our nursing units, we just installed Pyxis machines. It's very cost effective, very safe. But when we went to visit the nurses, they said that it created a lot more walking for them, and they had issues about the safety side of this and how it might affect them. They were able to take us to the Pyxis machine, show us what the process was, and how it affects them. In a very short amount of time, people could begin to understand what the issue was.

The direct interaction with staff keeps it at the top of the board's mind. As we talk about any number of things, even economic issues, people are thinking about the safety implications at all times now

-Molly Rowe