Olympic Medical Center transforms culture of safety to prevent infection

August 29, 2019

In 2014, Olympic Medical Center (OMC) embarked on a four-year project to revitalize infection prevention in their health system. The project began with refocusing its culture around quality and safety to include all employees and medical staff members in using best practices for infection prevention and control. To guide this process improvement, OMC worked towards achieving DNV GL Certification in Infection Prevention.

This quality improvement work focused on uniting staff around risk-based thinking. OMC empowered staff with knowledge regarding infection prevention and tools for fostering a culture of safety. As a result, OMC saw a proactive response to regulatory prioritization of infection prevention and control and decreasing health care-associated infections. All OMC departments and clinics were included in order to standardize practices across the organization.

OMC achieved DNV certification in November 2018. OMC’s Culture of Safety Survey, conducted biennially, demonstrated significant improvement over the 2016 survey. Of the 12 survey dimensions, 10 categories improved with the other two staying the same and an average improvement of 5%. Overall perception of safety improved by 8%.

In recognition of their dedication to process improvement for infection prevention, OMC was a 2019 nominee for the WSHA Rural Quality ~ Everyday Extraordinary Award. Washington rural health care communities are working hard to improve quality of care. This award is an opportunity to share safety and quality process improvement successes with the larger health care community and be recognized for being dedicated to increasing safety and quality for Washington patients. To be considered, nominees must be working on or have completed a safety and quality process improvement project. Submissions will be accepted starting in 2020, and next year’s recipient will be named at the 2020 WSHA/AWPHD Rural Hospital Leadership Conference. Questions can be directed to Sue Bergmann at SueB@wsha.org.

Congratulations to Olympic Medical Center on its certification and nomination!


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Washington State Hospital Association
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Seattle, WA 98104

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