McLaren Awards Lansing Surgical Tech with Safety Champion Award

 When it comes to care at McLaren Greater Lansing, safety comes first. The McLaren System Safety Champion Program was launched in 2019 to recognize staff and providers who went above and beyond to ensure safe care for patients and other team members. 

“Recognizing individuals who speak up for safety and prevent potential harm promotes a culture of safety and transparency across the organization,” said Phyllis McLellan, Manager, Patient Safety Clinical Risk at McLaren Greater Lansing.

In 2020, more than 250 employees were recognized for reporting safety events across McLaren’s 15 hospital locations. A specific safety event, a “good catch”, occurs when an employee takes action to prevent patient harm. Of the 250 entries, five employees were selected, including two from McLaren Greater Lansing, as final nominees for the annual McLaren System Safety Champion Award. Macie Ramey, Unit Coordinator in the emergency department, was selected as a final nominee, and Erin Switzer, Surgical Technician, was selected as the 2020 McLaren System Safety Champion. 

“Patient safety will always be my number one goal. It is our duty to look out for our patients just as if they were our own family,” said Switzer. “Surgery is a time where people feel very vulnerable, and we need to make them feel as comfortable as possible.”

Switzer was selected as the McLaren Safety Champion after acting as a patient advocate to ensure proper patient consent.  

“Once I learned that we did not have consent on file, I alerted leadership to obtain proper consent before surgery," said Switzer. “I was concerned to delay treatment, but hoped that all involved would see that I was looking out for everyone’s best interest.”

Switzer’s quick action verified that the surgical patient was properly informed of the surgical procedure and consented to treatment. In addition, reporting this event prompted McLaren to review and enhance processes to prevent reoccurrence.  

“We are proud to create a work environment that promotes staff to feel safe to speak up when they identify safety concerns,” said Phyllis McLellan. “We want our community to know when they come to our hospital, they are surrounded by staff and providers advocating for a safe place to receive excellent patient care.”