• 84°

St. James Hospital staff recognized as heroes

St. James Parish Hospital Team Members Jalene Zimmer, Registered Nurse, and Sarah Chiasson Lydell, M.S. CCC-Speech-Language Pathologist, were recently recognized by the Louisiana Hospital Association (LHA) for being “Heroes of Patient Safety.”

Borrowing lessons from the airline industry, hospitals are working to build a culture of safety by encouraging personnel to speak up to improve the safety and reliability of patient care. Members of the Louisiana Alliance for Patient Safety often have safety reporting systems that encourage employees to recommend safety improvements without fear of retribution. Many of these hospitals also have recognition programs that honor hospital personnel when they speak up to make a positive difference for a patient. The LHA is helping to build upon these efforts by honoring front-line hospital employees statewide.

Jalene Zimmer, RN, helped to reestablish situational awareness of the entire healthcare team by bringing forward her assessment of a patient’s condition when she noticed waived test results weren’t matching her assessment. She shared her findings with the physician, other health care team members, peers and nursing leadership. Her assessment lead to policy changes and the creation of more specific and safer standard operating procedures for nurse-specific findings in a patient assessment, further identifying when to correlate laboratory glucose tests with finger stick blood sugar results.

Sarah Chiasson Lydell, M.S. CCC-Speech-Language Pathologist, was noticing inconsistencies on diet trays for patients with swallow precautions.  She and the hospital’s dietician teamed up to design a process for consistencies in ordering meals, preparing diet cards and setting up trays.  The team incorporated a process for checking all trays before transport to the unit. Process improvements were shared with nursing staff and additional alerts were implemented to educate the nursing unit, caregivers and family members.

Senator Ed Price recently congratulated both Jalene and Sarah through an online video campaign with the LHA. “I applaud Jalene and Sarah for their important work as we recognize them statewide for their work as Heroes of Patient Safety,” said Senator Price.

The hospital would also like to thank both employees for the work they are doing to improve the quality of care in our community.

— Submitted by St. James Parish Hospital