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Vestre Viken Hospital Trust

Safety culture grows with Synergi Life

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Vestre Viken chose Synergi Life for safety

Synergi Life is at the core of the overall push to increase safety culture in the entire organization of Vestre Viken Hospital Trust, comprised of four hospitals and one medical centre in eastern Norway.

Tor-Arne Engebretsen, special adviser for patient safety at Vestre Viken, had 23 years of experience working with safety in the offshore oil and gas industry before he switched to healthcare and patient safety. “The oil industry in the North Sea has had an intense focus on safety since the 1960s, but in healthcare we’ve needed more time to get the same mentality. In our work, human lives are at stake every day. That’s even more important than a spill in the North Sea,” says Mr Engebretsen. Vestre Viken Hospital Trust provides hospital and healthcare services for 450,000 people in 26 municipalities.

“The real challenge is to improve the reporting culture. We have to help people understand why it’s important to report, and how we can learn from our mistakes. This is important for the entire healthcare field in Norway,” he says. Bærum Sykehus, one of the four hospitals in Vestre Viken, has been using Synergi Life (QHSE software) since 2007. In 2010 Vestre Viken decided to implement Synergi Life in a common system for all four hospitals, including the Drammen, Kongsberg and Ringerike hospitals. A pilot project was completed at the end of 2011, and on January 1, 2012 Vestre Viken completed the full implementation of version 12 of Synergi Life.

Reporting of non-conformities

This implementation has led to a marked increase in reporting of non-conformities. “We’re working actively to increase the level of reporting,” says Mr Engebretsen. “Our goal is to increase the number of reports and at the same time to decrease the number of serious incidents.” One example he mentions is from a hospital in the UK. When a system of reporting non-conformities, incidents and accidents in connection with blood donation was implemented, the hospital registered a total increase in the number of reports. At the same time a dramatic decrease in the number of serious incidents showed the effects of the implementation.

“Our leadership team is committed to Synergi Life, and is using the results in planning, on an equal level to financial results,” says Mr Engebretsen. “The top management asks regularly for the statistics that Synergi Life produces. This gives them the opportunity to address deviations and negative trends immediately. They are also alerted automatically if there is a serious incident or accident,” he says.

Currently, Vestre Viken has implemented the Incident Management Module. They are planning future implementation of the Audit Management Module (audit program) and the Secure Internet Access Interface. The Synergi Life Incident Management system helps users take the correct actions by tracking accidents and deviations. Statistics generated let organizations analyse causes, loss potential and trends. Synergi Life generates quality reports, statistics and risk assessment. When serious patient safety incidents need to be reviewed, Synergi provides the structure for the review.

“The system is intuitive. Even administrators who haven’t yet received training pick it up easily,” says Mr Engebretsen. “No other software can compete with Synergi Life.”

All of the 9500 employees of Vestre Viken are Synergi Life users. Training courses are provided to all employees, where the focus is just as much on safety mentality as it is on technical use of the software. Mr Engebretsen values the steady dialogue that exists between Vestre Viken and DNV GL regarding future improvements. “The way we’re working together is showing good results,” he says. Mr Engebretsen has become a valued resource for patient safety in the healthcare industry in Norway, and has given presentations and held workshops industry-wide to guide managers in methods of improving the reporting and safety culture. The implementation of Synergi Life is an important part of this process.

”At Vestre Viken, Synergi Life has come to stay,” he says.

Why we chose DNV GL - Software:

  • No competitors can deliver comparabel software
  • Provides total overview of risk

This is what we gained:

  • Intuitive interface
  • Easy for users to report incidents
  • Automatic transfer of data to management
  • Quality reports, statistics and risk assessment