• Innovation in Action

Nov 1, 2023

“Good Catch” Program Encourages Reporting Near Misses to Improve Patient Safety


The words, “Good Catch,” typically are associated with a positive play during a sporting event, but Deaconess Illinois Crossroads Community Hospital in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, has applied this praiseful phrase to help boost their culture of patient safety.

“Reporting near misses before a patient is harmed is not something new at the hospital but the formalization of the “Good Catch” campaign has created a friendly competition between departments that increases patient safety and allows for teaching moments,” said Janet Seagraves, BSN, RN, Deaconess Illinois Crossroads Community Hospital Patient Safety Officer/Risk Manager.

“Errors are not punitive here,” she said. “We consider these good catches to be part of a learning process. We have had processes changed because of the reporting. When one of our employees sees something that is missed, they report it, and we can quickly make an adjustment to benefit our patients.”

Janet said hospital employees reported a record low 22 near-miss incidents in 2020. To encourage everyone’s commitment to this patient safety initiative, Crossroad Community Hospital’s leaders gave the green light to implement the Good Catch campaign. Flyers were created and posted in every department and staff were encouraged to participate during leadership and safety committee meetings.

The campaign launched in October 2021, which led to 49 near-miss reports for the year. The program’s popularity has taken off in 2022 with 386 reported. Through September 2023, they have continued to exceed their goals for reporting, with 469 good catches reported so far.

“We are really proud of the program and our staff for stepping up,” said Michelle Darnell, BA, MPA, CPHQ, Deaconess Illinois Crossroads Community Hospital Director of Quality/Risk/MSO/AFPO. “Our leadership has been very supportive of the program, which has been the most important aspect of expanding the campaign.”

One barrier that Crossroads Community Hospital had to overcome was to ensure that employees reporting near misses would not be penalized. In the past, Michelle said that some staff discouraged reporting near misses but now it is encouraged. The department with the most near-miss reports gets to display a gold glove trophy for the month. The department is presented the award with balloons, and their picture is taken to be included in the hospital’s newsletter. Vouchers are also awarded for a free beverage or a bag of cookies.

Most importantly, Janet said, is that employees are praised firsthand and encouraged to keep reporting if they see something that could improve patient safety. In 2023, the program was further expanded to include a monthly Safety Star, which is awarded to the individual with the most impactful good catch.  Winners have included providers, nurses, support staff and others in the hospital. The Safety Star is promoted throughout the organization with certificates presented by senior leaders, pictures, posters and postings on social media.

“I talk with employees personally and hand out vouchers for a free snack,” she said. “I want to let them know that they are being heard and their reporting is creating positive change.”

About the Hospital:

Deaconess Illinois Crossroads Community Hospital in Mt. Vernon, Illinois, a Center of Excellence for Bariatric Surgery, is a 47-bed facility offering inpatient and outpatient care, diagnostic imaging, and emergency, medical and surgical care. The facility is also a Sleep Disorder Center and a Bone and Joint Center.

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