Safety comes first – and, in a hospital setting, it’s everyone’s responsibility. And so, inside every HCA Healthcare doorway, people are working to ensure that our systems approach to safety is performing optimally – take affiliate Memorial Hospital, for example.

When Bradley S. Talbert joined the Memorial Hospital family as chief executive officer and president last August, one of his first orders of business was implementing a daily safety huddle so every department within the Jacksonville hospital can begin the day informed and aware.

The safety huddle is conducted at 8:30 every morning in the boardroom and includes frontline staff, members of bed management, department leaders and senior leadership.  Physician leaders also have an open invitation to attend and participate.   The idea is to enhance quality and patient safety.

“Safety huddles are a core activity for promoting a culture of safety,” said Kenneth Sands, vice president and chief patient safety officer for HCA. “They provide a forum to share safety concerns, develop plans, and celebrate successes.  They set the tone for a working environment characterized by collaboration and collective awareness of risks and concerns. Congratulations to Memorial Hospital for so successfully embedding this key safety practice into everyday operations,” he added.

The briefing is a short, (15-minute) stand-up meeting to share any concerns that occurred in the last 24 hours, review the steps taken to resolve those matters and anticipate challenges in the next 24 hours.

“Our number one priority is the safety of our patients,” said Talbert.  “Holding a daily huddle demonstrates to all involved that senior leaders are here to support staff and committed to reducing patient harm and increasing safety.”

The stand-up meeting is also beneficial in identifying opportunities where the organization can improve or deploy needed resources in real-time.  The morning huddle was definitely a valuable tool during this year’s busy flu season.

“The safety huddle provides an opportunity for staff from all different departments of the hospital to share unexpected events and offer solutions on how we can improve our delivery of care,” said Talbert.  “It has also improved team dynamics, enhanced communication and allowed everyone to remain focused on our mission.”

The Safety Huddle includes:

  • Introduction of guests and new attendees
  • Mission moments (Memorial mantra & mission statement, stories)
  • Review of daily bed metrics and house status (Bed Management, unit directors/charge nurses)
  • Daily reports from directors (Case management, Environmental Services, Facilities, Bio-med, Transport, Food and Nutrition)
  • Quality/Infection Prevention/Compliance Reports
  • Patient experience opportunities
  • Immediate and long-term issues for resolution
  • Physician topics/new physicians
  • Events/hospital rumors

Talbert says he’s already seeing the benefits from the daily safety huddle and knows it will continue to add value as the hospital works diligently to prioritize our patients wellbeing.

Brad Talbert, CEO, Memorial Hospital

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Memorial Hospital, located in Jacksonville, Florida, is an affiliate of HCA Healthcare. It is also a member of HCA’s South Atlantic Division.

HCA 50th Anniversary
In 1968, HCA Healthcare was conceived by two physicians and an accomplished business leader — Dr. Thomas Frist Sr., Dr. Thomas Frist Jr., and Jack Massey. This year, HCA celebrates its golden anniversary and the culture of caring established by our three founders 50 years ago. To help us celebrate our 50th year, we’ll share stories here that reflect HCA’s mission – above all else, the care and improvement of human life – and our pledge to improve life and make history for the next 50 years and beyond.