Close Print View Issue

Mayo Clinic helps keep Maine patients safe

Medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States—that’s nearly 700 people per day—according to a study by researchers at Johns Hopkins Medicine. Through several initiatives, EMHS member organizations are measurably reducing the risk of errors, but until no patient is harmed, there is still more we can do. That is why Eastern Maine Medical Center and EMHS are proud to announce a new collaboration with Mayo Clinic of Rochester, Minnesota, to participate in the Mayo Clinic’s Safety Learning Systems initiative.

Vikram Kumar, MD, anesthesiologist and Eastern Maine Medical Center medical director of clinical performance improvement, is leading this initiative at the hospital. “Providing safe, high-quality care is at the heart of everything we do at EMMC. Our vision is to provide exceptional care and take what we learn from this collaborative and use it to benefit patients at our hospital and across Maine.”

jeanne-huddleston-11692197.jpgThis initiative will boost Eastern Maine Medical Center's ongoing patient safety work by helping the hospital better understand the gaps in current clinical processes and how to address them. To do this, groups of medical professionals from the medical center, including physicians, nurses, and others, examine the cause of a particular patient's death in a group format. The data is compiled and entered into the Mayo Clinic system for benchmarking. This data is used to make process changes that will hopefully reduce the likelihood of similar issues happening in the future. All EMHS members will have an opportunity to learn together from this engagement and put to practice proven strategies in patient safety.

On September 18, Eastern Maine Medical Center formally kicked off its participation in the collaborative by welcoming Jeanne Huddleston, MD, an associate professor at the Mayo Clinic. During her dynamic presentation to the audience, Dr. Huddleston’s passion for patient safety was contagious as she showed how the Mayo Clinic’s Safety Learning Systems initiative is making significant patient safety improvements in hospitals across the county.

Iyad Sabbagh, MD, EMHS vice president and chief quality officer explains, “By partnering with Mayo Clinic, this initiative will identify opportunities to ensure the highest possible safety standards for patients throughout Maine and will contribute to how medical errors are understood at a national level.”

Look for more information about this initiative in Currents, Eastern Maine Medical Centers’s employee newsletter, or reach out to Dr. Kumar at