I Am Patient Safety 2018: Ambulatory Surgical Facility/Ambulatory Care Center Award

Deborah Balogh, RN
Shriners Hospitals for Children – Erie Ambulatory Surgery Center
I Am Patient Safety 2018 winner of the "Ambulatory Surgical Facility/Ambulatory Care Center" award.

Debbie Balogh’s commitment to patient safety is evident in her role as the patient safety officer for the ambulatory surgery center, effectively leading its Patient Safety Committee. In her role as a registered nurse (RN) in the center’s preoperative holding and postanesthesia care areas, Balogh ensures every patient and family are prepared for surgery. She reviews medical records for completeness, confirms patient and family understanding of preoperative education, and helps prevent any wrong-patient, wrong-procedure, or wrong-site surgery. Medical forms might seem like dry paperwork, but they drive patient care, and Balogh was involved in creating two important forms. The first is a preoperative checklist she helped develop for use before the patient enters the operating room (OR). It aims to ensure that preparations are performed, such as removing hair, administering prophylactic antibiotics and nerve blocks, and positioning the patient on the OR table. The second is the "Peds Ortho Emergency Medication Sheet." This sheet, used in pediatric emergencies, includes the patient's medications, defibrillation attempts, IV boluses, and postoperative medications, and provides the patient's weight the day of the procedure (important for weight-based medication dosing). Balogh provides education on this form to all new physicians, residents, fellows, and RNs. Finally, she was integrally involved in developing an antibiotic stewardship program for the center, including policy development; education for providers, staff, patients, and families; and monitoring of antibiotic use.

©2018 Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority