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Improved Patient Safety

An Innovative Approach


John Reiling, M.H.A, M.B.A, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), St. Joseph's Community Hospital.

St. Joseph's Community Hospital in West Bend, Wisconsin, is building a new hospital using patient safety as a core design consideration. This approach offers helpful insights and lessons for States as they plan for future capital investments.

CEO John Reiling recounted how the planning process—which included a "learning lab" made up of leading national, regional and State patient safety experts brainstorming on how best to develop a safe hospital—provided valuable feedback to architects on design requirements for the facility.

Some of the new design features include patient rooms that are identical rather than mirror images of each other, an anteroom with a metal detector to prevent staff or patients from bringing metal objects into the MRI room, and sinks placed in view of the patients, so they can observe whether the health care staff wash their hands before treating them in their rooms.

States can look to St. Joseph's experience to inform future building code requirements, Certificate of Need processes, architectural rating and assessment, etc.

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