Celebrating the HeROs of MedStar
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Thanks to our high-reliability culture, MedStar receives many Good Catches every year, many of which are shared in the Good Catch Monday emails, and through the sharing of Safety Moments and in Safety Huddles. The lessons we learn from these Good Catches are invaluable to our efforts to deliver the highest levels of quality and safety to our patients. At the annual HeRO Luncheon, we celebrate all Good Catches and thank associates for their commitment to our vision and mission.

Every year, we select one GREAT catch that not only helped prevent patient harm, but also resulted in a lasting change that improves patient safety for all patients moving forward.  We recognize this great catch at the HeRO Luncheon.

The HeRO Good Catch of the Year began when a patient in a diabetes study checked in for a routine study visit. As he removed his shoes to weigh in, the Research Nurse Coordinator at MedStar Health Research Institute noticed an injury to his foot, prompting her to ask him about it. The patient indicated he had the tip of a toe amputated two years ago. The Research Nurse Coordinator recognized the patient was at high risk for foot injuries and immediately grew concerned about his overall health, given the relationship between diabetes and proper foot care. Although his brief exam for the study did not require a foot exam, she asked the physician to examine him. The physician agreed he required immediate assessment by a podiatrist.

The physician persuaded the MedStar Georgetown University Hospital Foot and Ankle Center to see the patient that day, and they were able to examine, treat and prescribe antibiotics immediately. Given the high level of risk associated with diabetes, any delay could have been serious, potentially leading to infection and further amputation.

Following this tremendous Good Catch, the diabetes study research team adopted new recommendations and now request that study patients remove their socks during weigh in. The approach provides nurses the opportunity to view the top and bottom of patients’ feet, and the ability to scan for any injuries or breaks in the skin where infection may enter. This simple step may play a critical role in the outcomes of our patients, as it did in this invaluable Good Catch.

The winner of the 2016 HeRO Good Catch Award is Laurie Want, RN, MedStar Health Research Institute.

Thank you, Laurie, for your commitment to patient safety. Your efforts had a significant impact on this patient, and countless other patients who will follow. Congratulations and thank you for serving as a MedStar HeRO. 


About the HeRO Luncheon

The HeRO Awards Luncheon is an annual event with the purpose of celebrating associates from across the system who were involved with a weekly or monthly Good Catch. Additionally, we present a variety of annual HeRO Awards to individuals and teams who were nominated and selected as a HeRO of the Year in a variety of categories (i.e., Nursing, Provider, Pharmacy, Good Catch of the Year, Super HeRO of the Year, etc.). This year marks the fourth annual luncheon, honoring Good Catches and celebrating associates for their quality and safety efforts in 2016.

2016 HeRO Good Catch was presented by Maureen P. McCausland, DNSc, RN, FAAN, enior vice president & chief nursing officer at MedStar Health.

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