Your Safety is Our Number One Priority

Skagit Regional Health is committed to providing safe, quality patient care. We embrace transparency in public reporting of quality measurements and national scorecards to promote education and awareness among consumers. Of all our goals, standards and priorities, our patients’ safety is the most important.

Because of this, we’re investing many of our resources to improving patient safety throughout our health system. We’ve undertaken and implemented several key patient safety best-practices, including:

Daily Safety HuddleSafety Huddles Track Issues and Raise Awareness

Safety huddles are a well-known best practice in healthcare. Every morning, leaders from across the organization gather to discuss any issues, or potential issues, that could affect patient care. They walk through a standardized template that prompts discussions about potential issues such as hand-off communications concerns, environmental challenges, behavioral risks, technology breakdowns, medication or supply shortages and other issues that need to be top of mind.

During each huddle, any outstanding issues from the previous day are revisited and any new concerns are brought up. This process allows leaders to track issues and raise awareness immediately when new issues arise. The daily safety huddle has proven to be a method to quickly gather the right people to address an issue, usually leading to quick resolution and, often, the formation of a new process to prevent a future concern.

Programs Targeting Specific Conditions

Our teams across Skagit Regional Health have implemented several ongoing initiatives to address or prevent specific safety conditions or situations, including:

  • Infection Prevention and Control is a key program to minimize or prevent the spread of infections in patients, and we have several quality metrics specifically focused on infection control. To compare infection rates of our hospitals with other Washington facilities, visit Healthcare Associated Infections, sponsored by the state Department of Health.
  • Falls Prevention is another key program where patients who are at risk of falling are identified, such as those who have undergone hip or knee-replacement surgery, and a series of interventions are deployed to prevent a fall.
  • Pressure Injuries Prevention is important for reducing or eliminating preventable pressure injuries such as pressure sores, which can develop when patients are in the same position for too long. This program helps providers identify patients at risk of developing pressure injuries and triggers strategies to minimize their potential for developing an injury.

Leadership Rounding to Boost Quality and Patient Safety

CEO rounding on nursing unitsOur teams at Skagit Regional Health have embraced leadership rounding as an initiative to help boost quality and patient safety. This is also a best practice among healthcare organizations, where each leader of the organization sets aside an hour per day to talk to staff and patients.

As part of this initiative, we’ve adopted the GREAT program, which is an acronym reminding leaders to greet, relate, explain, ask and thank when interacting with patients and staff. This helps with both employee and patient engagement and helps leaders keep a pulse on what’s going on in all aspects of the organization.

Patient Safety Advancements Through Technology

Technology, such as our comprehensive electronic health record system, can ensure key clinical information is in front of clinicians when they need it, enhancing patient safety. However, new uses of technology, including the two programs below, are also increasing patient safety and care accessibility for patients.

  • Robotics Program: Skagit Regional Health has surgical expertise with fellowship-training in robotic surgery. We’ve recently added top-of-the-line robotics equipment, enabling this surgery to be performed safely right here in the communities we serve. Surgery performed in this way is proven to reduce incision size, pain, infection rate and length of stay.
  • TeleStroke Program: Minutes count when a patient is experiencing a stroke. We participate in Swedish Medical Center’s TeleStroke program, which connects stroke victims with experts at Swedish, a regional leader in stroke care, via telehealth to assist in making a rapid diagnosis and treatment plan.

Expanded clinic hours - We heard you!

Jun 17, 2019, 13:45 PM
Family Medicine at Skagit Regional HealthLet’s face it – we’re all busy and finding a convenient time to visit the doctor can be a challenge. We have heard from patients that they would like to have the ability to seek care earlier in the morning and later in the evening. In response, several Skagit Regional Heath primary care and specialty departments have expanded hours.
Significant emphasis has been placed on increasing clinical hours at Skagit Regional Health’s primary care offices.
Family Medicine locations in Stanwood and Camano Island added later evening hours last summer and Arlington Family Medicine recently followed their lead, now keeping their doors open later two evenings per week.
“We’ve seen tremendous and very positive response to the extended hours in our Arlington, Stanwood and Camano Island clinics,” said Family Medicine physician David Escobar, DO. “Patients love being able to come to the clinic after work, or schedule their kids’ appointments after school or sports practice. In fact, we have added an extra Family Medicine provider in Stanwood on our extended-hour evenings. We are so happy to be able to provide these extended hours; it is one further step forward in earning our community’s trust to be the Arlington and Stanwood – Camano communities’ choice for a medical home.” 
Clinical departments in Skagit Regional Health’s northern area also offer patients a wider window in which to seek care. Family Medicine offices in Mount Vernon offer a variety of early morning and evening appointment options. Skagit Regional Clinics’ Pediatrics office at the Riverbend location in Mount Vernon is open extended hours during the week, from 7:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
“We continually look for ways to improve the service and care that we provide. Offering extended hours, either by opening clinics earlier in the morning or staying open later, gives our patients more flexibility when receiving care,” said Sara Hebel, Administrator of Clinic Operations for Skagit Regional Health. “We know it can be difficult to balance all of the activities that are a part of daily life. Offering additional hours for appointments makes it easier for patients to get the care they need in a timely way, with less impact on daily life.” 
Skagit Regional Health offers extended hours in several specialty clinics and in all three Urgent Care locations. Urgent Care providers treat non-life threatening illnesses and injuries without an appointment seven days a week. All Urgent Care locations, Mount Vernon, Riverbend and Smokey Point, are open weekdays 7:30 a.m. to 7: 30 p.m. and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends. 
For more information about Skagit Regional Health’s clinic locations and hours visit the locations section of our website