The staff at Hedrick Medical Center recently achieved a mark of excellence in patient safety. Over the past year Saint Luke's Health System has implemented new processes to enhance patient safety. To gauge the success of these new processes, the system sent surveys to clinical staff at each system facility to get their perspectives of patient safety.

Using the proven survey tool, the Hospital Survey on Patient Safety Culture from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRWQ), Hedrick Medical Center was able to evaluate how well it has established a culture of safety.

Hedrick Medical Center had the highest response rate of the 10 Saint Luke's Health System facilities, as well as the highest score in the system. In response to the question that asked respondents to rate their areas/units in regards to overall patient safety, 96.4 percent gave Hedrick Medical Center the highest possible rating. This reflects an increase from the 2011 score of 81.4 percent. The national norm is 75 percent.

"We are extremely proud of our employees' dedication to ensuring safety for our patients," said Catherine Hamilton, R.N., M.S.N., chief nursing officer, Hedrick Medical Center. "Patient safety is a vital part of patient care, and these scores prove that our employees are focused on giving the best care possible."

AHRQ also created the Survey on Patient Safety Culture: 2012 User Comparative Database Report so that hospitals and units in hospitals can determine how well they are doing to establish a culture of safety in comparison to other hospitals and units. Based on data provided voluntarily by 1,128 U.S. hospitals, the report provides results that hospitals can use as one basis for comparison in their efforts to establish, improve, and maintain a culture of patient safety in their institutions.

In honor of the staff's hard work, a celebration was held for all employees on March 5.