PSO Annual Meeting to Focus on Well-being and Workplace Violence


The MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO) Annual Meeting brings together national safety and clinical experts each year to discuss hot topics in healthcare. It will be held virtually from 9 a.m. to 3:10 p.m. March 9.

During the past several years, there has been an increasing prevalence of workplace violence in healthcare, and COVID-19 has contributed to violent behavior. That is why a key focus for the 2022 meeting is workplace violence and well-being.

Ken Smith, CHSP, CIE, CHCM, vice president at Healthcare Safety Services, will assist hospitals and health systems in complying with The Joint Commission’s new standards on workplace violence that took effect in January. Additionally, he will identify prevention strategies and action plans to assist health systems and hospitals with increasing workplace violence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Bryan Sexton, PhD, director of the Duke Center for Healthcare Safety and Quality, will outline the WELL-B webinar series that will begin March 29, demonstrating the efficacy of bite-sized interventions to sustain improvements in healthcare worker well-being.

Additional presentations will focus on anticoagulation-related adverse medication events and the intersection of health equity and safety.

Registration is free and available to MHA Keystone Center PSO members. Continuing education opportunities will be offered. Members with questions may contact the MHA Keystone Center PSO.

Celebrating Five Years of Speak-up! Award

Speak Up Award logo

Speaking up when having a concern in healthcare is foundational to ensuring safe, high-quality care for patients and a safe work environment for staff.

MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! AwardThe MHA Keystone Center Speak-Up! Award was launched in March 2016 for members of the MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO) to celebrate healthcare staff who speak up for patient or staff safety. The award program has grown exponentially throughout the last five years, averaging more than one nomination every two days, with over half of PSO members actively participating — 947 nominations have been received from 61 member organizations.

As part of the award program’s evolution, the MHA Keystone Center created a toolkit to help PSO-member organizations design and implement their own speak-up recognition process to advance their safety culture. According to a cost-savings analysis, each time staff speak up and prevent harm saves more than $13,000 for patients, families and healthcare organizations. This work was published in the Journal of Healthcare Risk Management and finished in the top 10% most downloaded articles of the Wiley publishing company in 2019.

PSO members may submit a Speak-up! Award nomination online. Members with questions may contact the MHA Keystone Center PSO.

“Ask the Question: Did They Serve” Initiative Supports Health Equity

The MHA and the MHA Keystone Center have long been committed to addressing health disparities, a foundational concept that shapes the organizations’ quality improvement and safety efforts.

One effort in ensuring equitable outcomes for all has been supporting hospitals to address health disparities through consistent collection of accurate demographic data, such as race, ethnicity and language, in addition to disability and veteran status. By creating a standardized process for collecting this information, health systems can take strides to ensure all patients can reach optimal treatment outcomes.

A simple, yet critical, action healthcare organizations can take to improve patient demographic collection is implementing a screening question to identify service members and veterans. This ensures they get connected with appropriate and important resources available to them.

The most effective way to accurately identify patients’ military service is to ask the question, “have you or a member of your household served in the military?” It is part of the “Ask the Question: Did They Serve” initiative championed by the Michigan Veterans Affairs Agency (MVAA) in collaboration with the Veterans Health Administration and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration to prevent suicide among service members, veterans and their families.

Using “have you served?” instead of “are you a veteran?” allows those who may not consider themselves a veteran or are uncomfortable identifying as such to answer yes, ensuring they receive access to services and support they earned.

The MVAA will connect service members, veterans and their families to critical benefits and programs including healthcare and mental health, education and employment, legal aid and other resources. All services are free and confidential and can be accessed by calling (800) 642-4838 (1-800-MICH-VET).

This simple question is a critical screening tool for the medical community and may provide an opportunity for a referral to be made to benefits veterans have earned. Flyers are available that healthcare providers can distribute to these patients.

The MHA Health Disparities webpage offers information about data collection. Members with questions may contact the MVAA.