Josie King Patient Safety Program


Johns Hopkins Children’s Center – Baltimore, MD

Program Leaders

George J. Dover, M.D.
Marlene R. Miller, M.D., M.Sc., F.A.A.P.
Christoph Lehmann, M.D.
Peter J. Pronovost, M.D., Ph.D.
Michael A. Veltri, Pharm.D.
Lisa C. Phifer, R.N., MSN
Claire M. Beers, R.N., MSN
Catherine Garger, R.N., BSN

Program Description

The Josie King Pediatric Patient Safety Program at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center is a first in many senses of the word. It was the first patient safety initiative funded by the Josie King Foundation in partnership with Johns Hopkins; the first formal program the Johns Hopkins Hospital used to improve patient safety after Josie’s death; and the first of its kind in the country.

Data and documentation drove the program as the basis of quality improvement. The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) and the Children’s Medical Surgical Center (CMSC6) staff participated in a ten-question cultural survey to gain a sense of their perception of the safety culture. Using these results, the staff were educated in the science of safety.

The staff were asked for their input. Specifically, where they felt problems may arise and how the institution could best prevent them. Senior management was involved to encourage staff to freely raise concerns; provide rapid and meaningful feedback; and develop trust between patients and staff. The staff recommended resource allocations to foster effective solutions to problems they foresaw. The Josie King Pediatric Patient Safety Program provided the PICU, CMSC6, senior management, their departments and other units with a means to increase accountability in order to improve the prevention of harm. Both patients and staff were able to see and understand the subtle changes that create significant improvements in their well-being.

As The Josie King Program has grown, it has become a part of the culture of safety for both patients and staff. The Program has been a prototype for children’s hospitals throughout the United States. By remaining mindful that safety work is never ending, The Josie King Pediatric Patient Safety Program provides lasting and meaningful change to ensure better patient care.

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