Sandy Andrews, Patient Safety Outcomes Manager, has been named the NHRMC 2017 Employee of the Year.
Sandy applies every NHRMC standard of excellence in the pursuit of patient safety. She is a team leader and active participant in Lean initiatives around the organization, and she excels at engaging clinical and medical staff to solve issues, implement process changes, and train for future success. She then owns every part of the follow-up.
Sandy’s rounding is purposeful and effective. With her comfortable communication style, she helps staff members identify potential barriers to patient safety and then works with them to remove them. Always supportive, she encourages them to speak up when they have patient safety concerns and recognizes them for their efforts.
She brings her patient safety focus to rounding with patients and families, as well. She encourages them to talk about their concerns and questions and helps them find answers by connecting with the appropriate staff. She’ll also take the time just to listen and talk when that’s all a patient needs. In one instance, she sat with a patient who wanted to know what was in a newspaper story, but couldn’t see to read it. So Sandy read the story to her and continued to check back with her during her stay to offer whatever assistance she could provide.
Another time, she encountered an elderly gentleman who was upset about going to a skilled nursing facility. He knew he had to go because he needed additional care his wife could not provide. Through frequent visits, our employee of excellence brought out his sense of humor and made him feel better about going. She also notified his caregivers of his concerns so they could provide extra support to lower his anxiety.
Her commitment to patients is evident in everything she does. She mentors new nurses to help them get through their first challenging months so they can provide confident, high-quality care. She will walk with a family member way out of her way to ensure they get to where they need to go, and then help them understand the resources available to them.
Perhaps most impactful, though, has been her work to reduce patient falls. As leader of the Fall Reduction Team, she helped reduce the fall rate from 2.8 percent in 2013 to 2.2 percent in 2016. Through a combination of tactics that included visual awareness cues on the units and in patient rooms, Fall Free Days recognitions, and extensive training, she has helped prevent potentially debilitating patient injuries.