Over the past few decades veterinary care has evolved significantly with more advanced diagnostics and treatment procedures. In parallel the pet population has increased and with that the expectations of pet owners. As with all types of health care there are Associated risks of the occurrence of unintentional harm. Since incidents impact our patients and our Associates, it is vital for our clinics to learn from them to prevent recurrence.
Since 2018 AniCura’s clinics can report incidents in a digital system. The system offers a structured way of processing and analyzing events. The aim is to create learning opportunities at both clinic and group level, and to contribute to the Mars Veterinary Health ecosystem.
One important area in Patient Safety is ensuring that key safety checks take place with equipment prior to use with every patient. Three unusual patient responses during anesthesia led a nurse to examine the anesthesia machine in detail and she discovered a problem with the oxygen generator. These events highlighted the importance of the use of pre-anesthesia equipment checklists before every procedure. In response to the lessons from these events AniCura initiated a patient safety anesthesia project. The project focuses on optimizing the quality of anesthesia equipment and the development of anesthesia guidelines.
At AniCura, learnings from incidents is shared in multiple ways with a quarterly Bulletin published to communicate cases, learnings and best practices.
Thorsten Thurde, Practice Manager at AniCura Varde Dyrehospital, shares his best tips on how to create a learning environment in the clinic:
- During the past couple of years, we have changed our focus to create a safe culture and a working model where mistakes are treated as learning experiences. We talk open mindedly about mistakes and capture both good and bad events to learn and improve. Nobody is blamed if we have an incident. We see it as a system failure and not a human error.
It is important that everyone understands this including the leaders.
Everyone involved with delivery of sedation or anesthesia should be trained in recognizing and treating hypoxemia and all clinics should ensure the following processes:
- Always have a back-up oxygen supply
- Perform a daily check of oxygen supply
- Perform regular maintenance of oxygen generators