In the ongoing effort to improve upon patient safety at the Sheridan VA Medical Center, particularly in the Psychiatric Ward, two VA employees designed an award-winning door that is taking off on a national level. Sheridan Media's Mary Jo Johnson has part one of a series.
Lisa Garstad is the Patient Safety / Risk Manager at the Sheridan VA Medical Center, and she was given a challenge about three years ago, to go through the inpatient mental health unit, the locked one specifically, to identify any risk that would be present.
What she came up with was a soft door that looks like a wrestling mat, and is attached to the door frame by sturdy velcro. However, the door is so lightweight it bends when someone puts their weight on it, so the velcro comes loose, thus foiling any attempts to hang themselves.
Granted, the door leading into the hallway is still a hard door for fire wall purposes, but as Public Affairs Specialist Jackie Van Mark, who partnered with Garstad on the project, tells us.
Garstad says that they are very fortunate to have a director in Debra Hirschman who believes in "thinking outside the box" when it comes to patient safety and care.
Rewarding both literally and figuratively, as Lisa's and Jackie's design was honored nationally, and since implementing the doors' use, there have been no patient injury cases involving bathroom or shower doors.
Tomorrow , I'll tell you how the doors are made and how they're making an impact outside the VA system.
Reporting for sheridanmedia.com news, I'm Mary Jo Johnson.