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St. Charles County Ambulance District honored for safety

The Center for Patient Safety recently recognized the St. Charles County Ambulance District [SCCAD] with its EMS Patient Safety First Award.

According to CPS Executive Director Alex Christgen, SCCAD leaders have shown dedication and resilience by taking proactive steps to improve the district’s patient safety culture, and its employees have shown spirited dedication in advancing the safe care of their patients.

“Only one Emergency Medical Service provider in the United States is selected annually to receive this prestigious award, and I am pleased that St. Charles County Ambulance District has been selected,” Christgen said. “Their achievements are significant and deserving of this recognition.”

Lee Varner, director of patient safety at CPS, noted, “EMS is a high-consequence industry where organizations will be successful through a commitment to continuous improvement and effective adaption to change.”

SCCAD has developed and implemented several new practices that, Varner said, demonstrate the district’s proven leadership in the EMS field. Those practices include:

• Adopting a “just” culture to encourage recognition and reporting of near misses and medical errors so lessons can be learned from mistakes.

• Implementing the Medication Administration Cross Check [MACC] with staff to reduce medication errors. SCCAD also integrates MACC procedures while training paramedic students and utilizes the cross check during other educational events.

• Establishing a Peer Review Committee where peer clinicians review medical reports and events to ensure care is exceptional, and improvements are identified then implemented. SCCAD’s peer review model has been shared with numerous medical providers across the country.

• Developing a patient safety plan that actively involves leadership and frontline staff.

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