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Medical Center using CUSP program to enhance patient safety

Date: 07/06/2020

As with any hospital or medical institution, Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center always has the safety our patients as our highest, most important priority. And while we are proud of our focus on safety, we recognize there are always ways to improve and do things better.

Over the past year, the Medical Center has been adopting CUSP, or Comprehensive Unit Safety Program, an approach that is used by healthcare organizations across the country to improve safety. For example, CUSP was used to help drastically reduced hospital-acquired infections nationwide. One such project, called On the CUSP: Stop BSI, reduced central line-associated bloodstream infections in 44 states by 40 percent while saving an estimated 500 lives!

The goal of CUSP is to combine improved teamwork, clinical best practices, and the science of safety to address safety concerns. CUSP provides caregivers with training, resources, and tools to address potential safety issues, and then empowers them to make the grassroots changes necessary to improve patient care.

Several teams at Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center are focusing on ensuring lab specimens are taken and processed safely. The Intensive Care Unit (ICU), Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Grant 7 Labor and Delivery, and Grant 8 Pediatrics have identified this effort as one of their projects and have implemented a two-nurse verification system to ensure accuracy. All of these departments have seen positive results from their work.

“The great thing about CUSP is that it is entirely staff driven,” says Deb Sanford, MBA, MSN, RN, vice president, Nursing and Patient Care Services. “We couldn’t be more pleased with the results of our CUSP teams as it relates to patient and staff safety. It will be exciting to see not only what other departments come up with for projects, but the anticipated positive results of those projects.”

WATCH: Northern Light AR Gould CUSP Story