(Name of hospital) earns patient safety excellence award
(Name of hospital) has earned a Minnesota Hospital Association Patient Safety Excellence Award
for its work on preventing retained objects in labor and delivery through the SAFE COUNT
initiative. The award is given to teams achieving more than 90 percent of the actions in the SAFE
COUNT Road Map to Preventing Retained Objects in Vaginal Deliveries.

Patient safety is a top priority for (name of hospital) and other Minnesota hospitals. That’s why
(name of hospital) joined the SAFE COUNT initiative, where Minnesota teams are working
collectively to prevent retained objects such as sponges from being retained in patients after
giving birth by implementing the SAFE COUNT road map.

“Hospitals that receive these awards are to be commended — the bar is set very high,” said MHA
Patient Safety Vice President Tania Daniels. “Hospitals that qualify have achieved measurable
and meaningful progress toward implementing best practices to drive down adverse health

[insert quote from hospital leader here. Ideas include recognizing staff for hard work, hospital
commitment to patient safety, goal of preventing adverse health events, etc.]

Sidebar: The SAFE COUNT Initiative

Implementing the SAFE COUNT roadmap involves many steps:

SAFE COUNT teams. Hospitals establish SAFE COUNT champions, and adopt an
interdisciplinary team approach for implementation.
Access to information. Teams verify the completion of each step of the process in “real-time,”
and audit the effective completion of the process.
Facility expectations. Hospitals set expectations for implementation of the process.
Educate staff. Hospitals provide education for all clinical staff involved in deliveries.

Count sponges, sharps and other items. Teams perform standard counting process best
Obtain post-delivery imaging. Teams reconcile counts.
Use of white board or other visual documentation. Teams visually document counts.
Never use anything but radiopaque (anything that does not let X-rays or other types of
radiation penetrate). Teams use only radiopaque soft goods.
Time-out — “Pause for the Gauze.” Staff perform final checks.

For more information about the SAFE COUNT campaign, visit the Minnesota Hospital Association
website at

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