Including All Voices in Patient Safety

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An important discussion on including patients’ voices in the dialogue on improvements to safety management practices takes place this week on our Healthcare Experience Matters Podcast.

We are joined by Kumar Subramaniam, President/CEO at SafeTower Inc., and Eileen Kasda, Vice President of Patient Safety at SafeTower, in our newest episode, moderated by Healthcare Experience Foundation (HXF) President Katie Owens.

SafeTower, Inc.

According to their official website,, “SafeTower is dedicated to changing the way the world looks at safety.”

SafeTower helps health care organizations improve the way they capture, share, analyze and implement proactive patient safety workflows and processes.

You can learn more, and request a demo, here:

Diverse Voices In Patient Safety

Katie kicks off today’s interview by highlighting the significance of the patient’s voice in enhancing safety management practices, a belief that is core to SafeTower’s mission and what the team strives to accomplish.

Eileen shares her journey with Johns Hopkins, expressing her passion for patient safety after personal experiences as a patient. Her career at Johns Hopkins, where she served as Director of Patient Safety for the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality, laid the groundwork for her current role at SafeTower.

Kumar Subramaniam, with a rich background in healthcare technology and management, describes his motivation to make a difference in patients’ lives, initially through population health management and later by co-founding SafeTower.

He emphasizes the necessity for innovative approaches in healthcare safety throughout today’s discussion.

Katie notes the evident regression in patient safety progress, despite historical advancements. She underscores the critical role of workforce engagement in promoting a culture of safety.

SafeTower aims to integrate patients’ voices into the safety narrative, thus advancing patient safety and overall healthcare quality.

The Inefficiency of Existing Systems

Eileen recounts her initial experiences analyzing patient safety event reports at Johns Hopkins. Her frustration with the inefficiency of existing systems led her to help design a more effective tool that supports collaboration and analytics.

This tool, now used at Johns Hopkins, has positively impacted safety culture and patient experiences.

SafeTower’s approach emphasizes breaking down silos between frontline staff and those using safety data.

By fostering open communication and including patient and family voices, SafeTower seeks to address the gaps observed in traditional safety data reporting and utilization.

Kumar and Eileen discuss the importance of incorporating advanced technologies, like artificial intelligence (AI), into safety management.

While administrative AI is more readily accepted, clinical AI faces scrutiny due to its direct impact on patient outcomes. SafeTower navigates these complexities by ensuring meaningful data analysis and decision-making.

As the discussion moves to a close, Katie brings attention to the interconnectedness of safety, quality, and experience in healthcare, while Kumar points out that safety and quality are naturally linked, with safety being a foundational aspect of healthcare quality.

“Without safety there cannot be quality,” he said.

By integrating patient voices from grievances and complaints into the safety dialogue, organizations can move towards more thorough and effective outcomes.

Final Thoughts

In the closing minutes of today’s discussion, our panelists acknowledge the need for psychologically safe workplaces where healthcare workers can thrive, ultimately benefiting patient care.

SafeTower’s solutions aim to foster such environments, contributing to better experiences for both healthcare workers and patients.

We are grateful for their appearance on today’s episode of HX Matters and look forward to having them back as SafeTower’s journey to make a major difference in the world marches forward.

More HX Matters Podcasts

Our podcast is dedicated to transforming the health care experience so that every person can receive and deliver the best care.

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