Patient safety focus of Dartmouth-Hitchcock presentation

LEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) Patient safety is front and center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. The facility is highlighting high-risk areas of health care and what it's doing to improve outcomes.

More than 50 presentations are on display in a conference room at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. Some include new technology like a humanoid robot that helps train doctors and nurses in the high-risk procedure of how to install a pacemaker.

"PacerMan allows nurses to practice their skills, it also allows our providers to practice actually inserting the wire," said Lisa Davenport, a nurse educator.

All the information being shared here has to do with patient safety as part of DHMC's system-wide Safety and Quality week.

Preventing the potentially fatal infection of sepsis early is the topic of the Cheshire Medical Center's display.

"It's not just about the medicine. It is making sure we are communicating with each other what is going on with each patient," said Cheshire's Andree Smith.

And that communication with and about patients sometimes happens outside the hospital walls. Officials says especially when it comes to low income families or those struggling with substance abuse.

"They are having barriers with transportation and food and housing, so we need to come together as a community to improve all of those," said Holly Gaspar, a community health coordinator.

So these health experts are coming together to focus on what works and what needs improvement when it comes to patient care.

"The fact is when you do it right the first time and you really figure out what matters and you do it consistently, it ends up being much more cost effective," said Dr. George Blike, DHMC's Chief Quality Officer.

Lectures and workshops are also part of the weeklong event which coincides with National Patient Safety Week. But officials at this medical center say it's an area they focus on every single day.