Posted on August 18, 2017
The Michigan Health & Hospital Association (MHA) Keystone Center presented the quarterly MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award on Aug. 17 to Jennifer Ludwig, RN, a nurse at Sparrow Hospital, Lansing.
Ludwig is the first recipient of the award at Sparrow Hospital. Watch the video from the event.
The award celebrates patient and staff safety through the recognition of individuals or teams in Michigan hospitals who demonstrate a commitment to the prevention of patient or staff harm.
Ludwig identified a potential example of unsafe patient care and spoke up to prevent future harm.
“It was important for me to speak up on behalf of patient safety and prevent harm as well as to have the accountability and integrity to do the right thing,” said Ludwig. “Sparrow is an organization that promotes a culture of safety, and Sparrow leaders really gave me an opportunity to speak up about the issue. They reviewed it and made sure no harm occurred to patients or caregivers. I would strongly encourage any person in any position to always speak up and have integrity.”
Ashley Sweet, RN, critical care nurse educator, Sparrow Hospital, nominated Ludwig for the award.
“I had to nominate Jennifer for this award. There was no question in my mind – especially when I look back on the incident and the courage it took for her to speak up,” said Sweet. “She harnessed the highest level of integrity in a nurse in that moment. I’m so happy this award was available because she’s made for it. She’s the most amazing nurse.”
Sparrow Hospital has focused largely on patient care and safety, and made it the core of its organizational culture.
“Over the years, Sparrow has really emphasized that staff shouldn’t just speak up when they have concerns but when they see safety issues as well, said Mark Brett, president and CEO, Sparrow Hospital. “We’ve strived to have safety be inherent in all that we do, so it’s part of our culture and DNA.”
The MHA and the MHA Keystone Center Patient Safety Organization (PSO) launched the MHA Keystone Speak-up! Award in 2016 as part of a statewide initiative to achieve high reliability in healthcare. Achieving high reliability in healthcare is the next step in improving Michigan’s quality of care, reducing costs and minimizing institutional risk for both patients and providers.
“The only way to ultimately move the needle and improve patient outcomes in Michigan is to work together, learn from each other and engage,” said Brian Peters, chief executive officer, MHA. “Unless there is a culture of speaking up and recognizing individuals like Jennifer, who are willing to speak up and speak out when there is an unsafe condition – we’ll never be able to move forward in a positive way.”
The MHA Keystone Center presents its Speak-up! Award quarterly, with one quarterly awardee recognized as an annual Speak-up! Award recipient.
“We think it’s a big deal when someone has the courage to speak up and prevent an error, so we like to acknowledge them in a big way,” said Sam Watson, MSA, CPPS, senior vice president of patient safety and quality, MHA Keystone Center. “We hope that people build on the awardees and speak up and this creates a movement for people to speak up, so others can feel psychologically safe and prevent harm.”
More information about the MHA Keystone Speak-up! Award, including award criteria and a nomination form, are available online. Members with questions may contact Adam Novak at the MHA.
To learn more information about Jennifer Ludwig and how she spoke up against patient harm, read the press release.
Photo Captions: (From left) MHA CEO Brian Peters; Speak-up! Award winner, Jennifer Ludwig, RN, Sparrow Hospital; MHA Keystone Center Senior Vice President Sam Watson and Sparrow Hospital president & CEO Mark Brett at the ceremony recognizing Ludwig. (Photo 2, from left) Sparrow Vice President of Nursing, Chris Jodoin; Jennifer Ludwig, RN, Sparrow Hospital; and Ashley Sweet, RN, critical care nurse educator, Sparrow Hospital. Sweet nominated Ludwig for the MHA Keystone Center Speak-up! Award.
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