Minnesota Hospital Association


December 03, 2013

Redwood Area Hospital works to reduce harm across the board

Redwood Area Hospital is a 25-bed city owned critical access hospital in southwest Minnesota. When challenged with the work of the hospital engagement network, the hospital seized the opportunity to evaluate its current processes and implement new processes to reduce adverse events. Even as a small hospital with limited resources, the hospital is engaged on all 10 HEN focus areas and making exceptional progress. Realizing front-line staff is critical to safety improvement efforts, the hospital uses the principles of Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB) to reduce harm across the board. In practice, this means staff is involved in designing the systems that support the initiatives and move the work forward. Since they are at the bedside, staff is able to identify small tweaks that can make the hospital’s processes better.

“TCAB principles serve as the foundation of our implementation,” said Dawn Allen, chief clinical officer. “We’ve brought the work to the direct line staff for involvement in design, testing and implementation. This has required strong support from leadership as well as the quality risk manager.”

By bringing the safety improvement work to the bedside, Redwood Area Hospital fosters a collaborative team that involves departments outside of the specific unit. For example, lab x-ray, physical therapy and house keeping have all been involved in one or more initiative. The hospital has learned it is important to have clear expectations for staff and to provide them necessary support to move the work forward.

“We’ve had success showing staff how the work improves care to the patient and positively impacts their work flow,” said Allen.


Redwood Area Hospital fall with injury rates are consistently below average and currently the hospital’s fall with injury rate is zero. The hospital also has zero early elective deliveries in Q3 2013 and has a hard stop policy in place prohibiting deliveries before 39 weeks.