Frequently Asked Questions
What is SecondStory Health?
SecondStory Health, LLC - established in 2003 and based in the Research Triangle area of North Carolina - is a company that provides patient safety software and strategies to reduce risk and improve quality in healthcare systems.
Why the name - SecondStory?
When an error occurs, the report - the first story - often assigns blame and diverts attention away from the real causes. SecondStory uniquely captures the "story behind the story" - the second story - enabling your organization to develop effective durable solutions to the underlying problems.
How will SecondStory Health benefit me?
SecondStory Health's strategies and software will benefit your organization's important clinical, operational and financial business practices by improving the incident reporting process. Our goal is to maximize the value of the data in your organization and improve its usefulness to your staff and leadership.
SecondStory software focuses your organizational attention to the hidden system failures that are costing you up to $8,750 (2006 dollars) in direct care costs for each avoidable adverse drug event.
SecondStory software is an integral part of your system's compliance with accreditation organization such as the JCAHO, regulatory agencies such as CMS and state licensing authorities.
What can I do with SecondStory software?
SecondStory software is a state-of-the-art web-based adverse event reporting system that is clinician friendly and combines all adverse event reporting (drugs, devices, patient falls, staff concerns, etc.) into a single program. It is a paperless system with built in audit trails, high-level and user level security and industry standard HL7 interfacing to other clinical systems.
Will SecondStory software support my organization's size and diversity?
SecondStory's scaleable architecture is based on J2EE Java servlet technology which scales from simple and small to the largest transactional web-based systems available. It can run on top of databases from the ultra-fast and inexpensive open-source MySQL database engine running on a Linux server, to top of the line performance systems based on Oracle and DB2 systems running on mini or mainframe systems.
SecondStory works securely and safely across geographical distances, supporting healthcare networks located on the other side of town or the other side of your state.
How does SecondStory software help assure the validity of the adverse event data?
SecondStory software creates an "online community" of interdisciplinary reviewers that provide peer and administrative oversight of the reported events. Specialists then assure that the reported events receive appropriate investigation and review into the root causes of preventable injury and the clinical significance of non-preventable events.
Peer reviewers are "blinded" to the identity of the reporter and any persons involved in the event to minimize bias, yet within their "online community" they can confidentially share information to arrive a the best analysis of the event.
How does SecondStory software protect the privacy of the adverse event data?
The software uses several layers of system-level security and application-level security, in addition to the protections in your organization's own networks, to protect the data. Electronic messages are encrypted for additional protections. The software operates totally within your organizations intranet or VPN and data are not transmitted offsite to independent servers.
The software operates within the quality improvement/quality assurance program of your organizations. For most organizations, this means that the contents are protected from legal discovery when used for bona fide QI/QA purposes.
Is SecondStory software clinician friendly?
The software is designed by clinicians with extensive bedside experience and experience in designing and implementing adverse event software systems in healthcare institutions.
The process of reporting is streamlined to accommodate the health care provider's busy schedule. Clinicians can tell their story in natural language and submit a report with as few as 2 mouse-clicks. The typical report can be entered in less than 3 minutes. Reports can also be saved to "draft" and completed at a later time without reentering data. The software alerts reporters to unfinished draft reports.
Entry screens also allow users to "copy and paste" data from other compatible systems such as electronic medical, pharmacy and nursing records.
Do I have control over the terms used in SecondStory software?
Your organization has complete control over nearly all the variables needed to effectively document and analyze adverse event reports. You do not need to change the terms used in your current system. You can add, delete or modify terms without the need to reprogram the software.
The software shifts the focus from the error to the system-failures and action plans. Its executive management modules allow oversight of the status and follow-up of all documented actions.
Reports and analyses can be generated directly from the user's screens at various levels as assigned by the organization.
SecondStory software interfaces with any computer system using HL7 messaging. Physician, lab, pharmacy and nursing information systems will be able to send electronic reports of possible adverse events directly into the software.
How does SecondStory software support my organization's plan to create a "just culture" to improve patient safety?
SecondStory software and strategies create a better atmosphere for health care providers to report adverse events wherein the person reporting the error does not perceive or fear repercussions or punishment.
As the aviation industry has discovered, punishment is a deterrent to reporting an error; if an error is not reported, nothing can be done to correct the situation that created the potential for error.
The software uses de-identified methods and a systems-focused approach to provide assurances that the organization is interested in improving the system and not punishing the people.
What is the difference between a clinical pharmacist intervention and an adverse event report?
In reality, pharmacist interventions that improve medication orders are no different than recognizing adverse events before they cause harm. Many organizations maintain separate reporting systems for these two sources of data. SecondStory will document the interventions by pharmacists when medication related problems are recognized and intercepted.
This is a well established and well documented pharmaceutical care practice that lowers costs and improves care. Brigham and Women's Hospital reduced the ADE rate in its Intensive Care Unit (ICU) from 33.0 per 1,000 patient days to 11.6 per 1,000 patient days by having a pharmacist participate in patient rounds with the ICU team. As a result, the hospital estimated it could reduce its costs by $270,000 per year simply by using the pharmacist's time in a different manner.
How can SecondStory software decrease the time and costs associated with organizing the data, generating reports and analyses?
SecondStory software consolidates all event report types into a single reporting system, eliminating the need for maintaining separate paper forms, separate reporting systems and separate databases.
SecondStory software includes more than 20 pre-built tabular and graphical reports that allow authorized users to conveniently generate "real time" views of the data. A dynamic "drill down" feature allows users to view summary data or click on the areas of interest to view individual reports.
Each report can be tailored to specific user questions, including locations, time periods and type of events.
For highly advanced analyses, the database can be easily queried using standard database programs. In addition, a "one click" function allows the adverse event data to be exported to other systems/software such as HTML, Excel and PDF formats for display or additional analysis.
Can I electronically interface SecondStory software with other computer systems in my organization?
The software is designed to interface with your organization's existing networks, communication systems and data repositories. HL7 message alerts from clinical systems (e.g. pharmacy, lab, CPOE) can automatically be imported into SecondStory for data analysis and trending purposes. The software also supports electronic links to national reporting systems such as MedWatch, enabling the selective download of de-identified reports to national databases.
How can I use SecondStory software to support other patient safety initiatives?
The adverse event database provides a rich source of data for initiating Sentinel Event analyses, Six Sigma quality improvement programs and other management initiatives to improve patient safety. The software can also be configured to accept reports from automated surveillance systems. Many of the automated systems use computerized rules to scan electronic medical records for potential or actual adverse events.
How can I justify the cost of SecondStory software?
SecondStory software and strategies provides a highly favorable and fast return on investment. (1) Rational and durable systems improvements reduce the frequency and severity of future preventable adverse drug events. These events are very expensive, already costing you more than $8,750 (2006 dollars) in direct care costs for each avoidable event. (2) Consolidate multiple reporting systems into a single easy-to-manage tool. (3) Decrease the time needed to transcribe, copy, enter, print and store paper files and forms. (4) Decrease the time and costs associated with manually generating reports and analyses for committees, task forces and other users in your organization.