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Children's Hospital Association: How Serious Safety Events Can Inform Improvements in Health Equity

By Kelly Church

Over the last 20 years, children's hospitals have put significant time, energy and resources into establishing reliable institutional practices to prevent harm. With these practices as a backbone, children's hospitals are working to identify connections between social determinants of health (SDOH) and serious safety events (SSE) and examining how to deliver more equitable care.

Typically, when a safety event occurs—such as a central line-associated bloodstream infection—a group of internal stakeholders review the event to learn how to prevent it in the future. A standard case review looks at a patient's entire journey in the hospital and identifies deviations in care that may have resulted in harm.

The team at Children's Minnesota in Minneapolis conducted an SSE review and identified events that met the definition of an SSE, not by medical error standards but by inequity of care based on race, English as a second language, and other patient and family characteristics.

At Children's Mercy Kansas City in Missouri, teams are also leveraging SSE reviews to identify how SDOH plays a role in patient harm.

 "During every review, we ask everyone involved whether they think any of the following SDOH might have played a role in the event in some way: language, culture, race or ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, or any other characteristic of anyone involved," says Lisa Schroeder, chief medical quality and safety officer at Children's Mercy Kansas City.


Read the full article via the Children's Hospital Association

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Children's Mercy