The Health Care Improvement Foundation’s (HCIF) Partner Profiles highlight the efforts of valued and innovative health leaders. Our partners’ work supports HCIF’s vision of healthier communities through equitable, accessible, and quality health care.
We are pleased to feature Shannon Davila of ECRI to share more about her reflections on patient safety and quality improvement. Shannon currently serves as the Director of Total Systems Approach to Safety at ECRI and has a clinical background in adult critical care nursing and specializes in infection prevention and healthcare quality improvement. She is certified in infection control, healthcare quality, is a TeamSTEPPS Master Trainer and a High Reliability coach. Shannon is a current member of HCIF’s Clinical Advisory Committee as well as serving as our partner and facilitator for HCIF’s Safe Table program.
How did you first get involved or interested in Patient Safety?
Shortly after completing my enlistment in the United States Air Force, I went to nursing school. As a new graduate nurse, I worked in the ICU and immediately became aware of the safety risks that our patients face. As I have grown professionally, I have been drawn to focusing on how I can help reduce the risk of harm to patients.
ECRI and the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Patient Safety Organization (PSO) and HCIF have been partnering for the Partnership for Patient Care (PPC) Safe Table program for the past seven years. This program offers a framework for Patient Safety Officers to discuss and exchange best practices and solutions for current patient safety issues. Throughout that time, we’ve discussed over fifty different safety topics of concern. Reflecting on the program’s history, what do you see as some of the biggest accomplishments the Safe Table program has achieved?
First, I would say the longevity of the program is impressive! Additionally, the resilience of the participants to stay engaged over those years and through a pandemic demonstrates the power of those relationships. This program creates a safe space for safety leaders to talk, share and learn, and the value of that is evidenced by their continued commitment to the program.
As an innovative model, how do you see the Safe Table program serving the general discipline of patient safety and overall contributing to making our region safer?
The Safe Table program serves as a valuable learning system for this region of Pennsylvania. Under the federal legal protections offered by the PSO, participants are able to share details of safety issues and learn from each other. This learning helps advance the application of safety principles and strategies across health systems, ultimately contributing to making our region safer.
One of the roles of HCIF’s Clinical Advisory Committee is to identify and address Southeastern Pennsylvania’s quality and patient safety priorities. We also know ECRI releases their annual Top 10 Patient Safety Concerns report. As a well-versed patient safety professional, what do you see as some of the biggest challenges ahead or shifts occurring in the field of Patient Safety? Are there any specific regional priorities that you are focusing on?
Issues related to staffing shortages have been something that ECRI has highlighted since the pandemic, and we still see many problems stemming from this issue. This includes problems with transitions of care, managing complex patient populations, and maintaining an adequate level of competent safety and quality improvement professionals. These professionals are critical for healthcare systems to both identify safety and quality issues and bring about transformative change.
As a longstanding partner of HCIF who has participated in several PPC programs over the years, what do you think makes HCIF unique and what have you found most valuable about working with HCIF?
I would say without a doubt, the HCIF team. I work closely with Pam and Liz and their dedication to their members and the program design is always evident.
Reflecting on your own career, what has been one of the proudest moments or greatest accomplishments of your career thus far?
In 2016 I was awarded the Heroes of Infection Prevention Award from Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), one of my mentors had nominated me and I was honored to have received it.
If you are interested in connecting with our partner, you can connect with Shannon via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To get to know Shannon a bit more, she shared the following: A quote that she often returns to and inspires her in her work , “You can’t improve what you don’t measure.” Something most people don’t know about her is that she has a green thumb and loves to garden. To reflect back on her gardening hard work, she likes to document her plants as they grow by taking photos of them!