Hospital employee honored by UF Health for patient care, safety efforts

Veterinary technician manager Suzanne Pareau receives her Quality Hero award during a ceremony at UF Health on April 16. (Photo courtesy of Linda Allen)

Veterinary technician manager Suzanne Pereau receives her Quality Hero award during a ceremony at UF Health on April 16. (Photo courtesy of Linda Allen)

Suzanne Pereau, a veterinary technician manager at the UF Small Animal Hospital, has received a 2018 Quality Hero Award from UF Health in the category of “Outstanding Safety Champion in a Clinical Role” for her efforts to advance quality and patient safety.

The awards were presented April 16 by the UF Health Sebastian Ferrero Office of Clinical Quality and Patient Safety during Patient Safety and Quality Week.

“In the short time that the UF Veterinary Hospitals have begun capturing safety events in 2015, Suzanne has emerged as a patient safety champion,” said Dr. Dana Zimmel, associate dean of clinical services and chief medical officer for the UF Veterinary Hospitals, in a letter nominating Pereau for the award.

“She is a leader in quality and patient safety, and is imparting her knowledge to her staff about the benefits of learning from our mistakes and making our systems better,” Zimmel said.

Zimmel noted that in Pereau’s managerial role, she is responsible for viewing patient safety reports for her service, emergency and critical care.  She carefully reviews each report and is always thinking of ways to improve processes to avoid making the same mistakes again.

Pereau also took the initiative to start patient safety rounds with the staff in her service as well as in the primary care ward. Her rounds require a staff member to do a presentation at their monthly quality meetings relating to a reported error, according to her nomination letter.

The presentation musts follow very specific guidelines, including a thorough medical record review and conducting additional research relating to literature on the topic in question, as well as gathering inputs from faculty and staff. The presentation also must provide a brief description of what happened, what led to the event, findings from the literature describing if this error has happened anywhere else in the field and possible solutions for future prevention.

“Suzanne is a role model for other managers, and is looking at expanding the patient safety rounds by collaborating with other services,” Zimmel said.

Last year through the same program, two UF Veterinary Hospital medical directors, Dr. Chris Sanchez and Dr. Gareth Buckley, were honored as “Rookies of the Year” for their role in leading quality and patient safety efforts in the UF Veterinary Hospitals.

Under Zimmel’s leadership, Sanchez and Buckley helped the hospitals develop an incident reporting system to execute a patient quality and safety program.  In September 2017, Linda Allen, the Quality Officer was hired to lead and expand the program.

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