In writing an article for 24×7 sister publication Imaging Economics, I spoke with Barry D. Pressman, MD, FACR, professor and chairman of the S. Mark Taper Foundation Imaging Center and Department, and Chief of the Section of Neuroradiology and Head and Neck Radiology at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles. At Pressman’s facility, the radiology department recently strove to change its safety culture and make patient safety a primary consideration in every action or process. The department traveled to other hospitals to gain an understanding of what to do, and have since instituted a safety committee, a system of checks and balances, and various bookkeeping methods to ensure safety. And the proof is in the pudding: patient satisfaction surveys are through the roof.

I was asked to profile the department and this safety program because of how innovative and forward-thinking it is. Since many of the processes and jobs of biomeds are inherently focused on patient safety, it is possible that there are cultural programs like the one at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center dedicated to patient safety. If not, there are almost certainly steps that you take to improve patient safety above and beyond the norm. What are some of the things that your biomed shop does to improve patient safety? Are there any unique programs that your facility has instituted?