The American Society of Professionals in Patient Safety (ASPPS) is a membership program for professionals
and others interested in patient safety. This is part of a series of member profiles.
by Joanna Carmona
Erin Graydon Baker, MS, RRT, CPPS, patient safety officer, director, risk management and patient safety
Maine Medical Center
What does patient safety mean to you?
“I echo most in our profession that patient safety means having the patient receive the right treatment, at the right time, for the right reasons, and delivered without preventable harm. However, I also understand that without keeping our staff safe, healthy, engaged, and educated, we will not be able to truly accomplish patient safety.”
Why did you join the ASPPS? What does it mean to be a lifelong member?
“In 2011, I was given an incredible opportunity to join colleagues to help develop content for the Certified Professional in Patient Safety (CPPS) exam. When the first iteration of the exam was released, I was also part of the faculty for the first live preparatory course held at the NPSF Patient Safety Congress. It was through this work that I knew that I would always be committed to NPSF. What better way to show solidarity than to become a lifelong member.”
What keeps you up at night?
“I worry about the staff and their well-being in our fast paced environment. Our staff is so compassionate and hardworking, but I worry about burnout for our interprofessional staff, residents, and attending physicians. I worry about challenges with electronic medical records where it no longer shows us a longitudinal patient story, but is a series of reports that one has to know how to access. For example, our nursing colleagues couldn’t see some of the fields that providers had complete and vice versa, so we needed to create an interdisciplinary note that all could see. I could go on forever what keeps me up at night, but I guess that is part of the makeup of a patient safety professional.”
What is the future of patient safety?
“I think the future of patient safety lies within transitions of care from the hospital to long-term care to the home. Anytime we have a patient handoff, whether it is within the hospital setting or beyond, we risk losing critical pieces of the patient story. I look forward to the true one patient-one record. Patient safety challenges in the ambulatory setting include missed, delayed, or incorrect diagnoses. This should continue to be an area of focus for all of us.”
What’s something most people don’t know about you?
“I spent 12 years studying mixed martial arts. It gave me peace and an exhausted body when my mind was full of worry!”
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Joanna Carmona is communications coordinator at the National Patient Safety Foundation. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.