Shamrock Award recognizes employees, teams for championing patient safety

March 12, 2019

As patient care manager in the Emergency Center (EC) at Texas Children’s Medical Center Campus, Tashia Bush oversees a dedicated team of nurses that treat more than 75,000 children every year.

Given the fast-paced, high-stress nature of an emergency care setting, there is one common goal that Bush and her team focus on daily – cultivating a safer environment for patients and staff in the EC.

“Every day is patient safety day in the EC,” Bush said. “The key to creating an environment of safe patient care is ensuring our staff is equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to take preventive action.”

Bush recently was recognized for her patient safety efforts in the EC when she became the January 2019 recipient of the Shamrock Award, which is awarded every month to a patient safety champion.

Texas Children’s Safety and Quality Leadership Group presents this award to a person or group who has done something extraordinary to enhance patient safety across the organization like taking immediate action to avert a potential safety concern, spearheading improvements to enhance patient safety and other above and beyond actions that make a positive impact on the safety of Texas Children’s patients.

Last year, Bush created the Safety Promotion Team comprised of EC staff, a quality improvement specialist and 10 safety coaches that meet every month to review current trends in the EC, identify opportunities for improvement, and develop action plans to address potential patient safety concerns.

To promote transparency, safety scoop report cards are sent to staff each month to keep them abreast of the number of serious safety events reported in the EC. By comparing data trends on a monthly basis, staff can see what areas they have improved upon and what areas need additional reinforcement. Staff members can then share their ideas for improvement with the Safety Promotion Team for consideration.

“Through our educational efforts, our EC staff has made great strides in patient safety,” Bush said. “We have seen a decrease in the number of falls and central line infections, and we have implemented new processes to improve positive patient identification and reduce the potential for medication errors.”

Similar to the Shamrock Award, Bush also created a new program in her unit called “Catch of the Month,” that recognizes staff for making “great catches” that averted potential safety concerns in the EC.

“There is no question our employees are making Texas Children’s safer,” said Texas Children’s Chief Safety Officer Dr. Joan Shook. “Since we launched the Shamrock program more than a year ago, there has been tremendous enthusiasm and the number of nominees has grown dramatically every month.”

The Shamrock Program is open to both clinical and non-clinical employees since everyone at Texas Children’s – regardless of their job title or position – plays an important role in cultivating a harm-free environment for our patients. Click here for a list of previous Shamrock Award winners.

For Bush, she says programs like this are a great morale booster and keeps patient safety top of mind.

“It is so important that we acknowledge our patient safety champions who play a critical role in the care of our patients,” Bush said. “Every time we let somebody know that they’ve done a great job, they are more apt to do more and become an inspiration for others to go the extra mile to keep our patients safe.”

Do you know someone who is deserving of the Shamrock Award? Click here to access the nomination form.