Sign in arrow

Cook Children’s Promise Island Proves Promising


More than 80 SPS children’s hospitals are striving to create a culture of safety in their institutions and eliminate harm by implementing error prevention techniques—such as the STAR technique (Stop, Think, Act, Review) to develop strong self-checking habits—in their hospitals. Some hospitals have developed innovative and creative ways to spread these techniques to their hospital staff.  Healthcare is a human-based system where people—not machines—do most of the important work. It might be impossible to eliminate human error, but by employing systems thinking to understand human performance within our hospitals, we can prevent events of harm. All children’s hospitals can become high reliability organizations, delivering healing without harm reliably, each time, every time—by equipping people in a hospital system with behavior-based tools and techniques. Cook Children’s   has created an online, game-based program that delivers training on SPS error prevention tools to re-enforce behaviors and techniques that enhance our safety culture. Promise Island, named for the hospital’s mission statement, includes a series of interactive games, where the users make “stops” on an island and earn points along the way. “The creation of Promise Island stemmed from the desire to try an online learning game-based program with our staff, and the SPS error prevention tool training was a perfect fit,” said Catie Jensen, Safety Program Education Coordinator at Cook Children’s.


“We did a lot of research about gamification models – where you get points for completing activities in a social environment. Kind of like playing a game like Candy Crush – you get motivated to keep going,” said Jensen. Each stop on the island is one of the error prevention tools. The Cook Children’s team worked with their marketing department to create icons for each stop. Within each stop, there is a learning aspect (such as a video, tutorial, or other instructional function), a follow-up quiz, and a few articles or other resources to dig deeper into the subject if the participant desires. Each participant can rate the activity on a 1-5 star scale, as well as share stories about themselves or others using the specific tool described in the activity. This has allowed opportunities for praise and recognition of colleagues.


“We got a lot of great information from our colleagues in SPS, especially Nationwide Children’s,” said Jensen. After rolling out Promise Island with an island-themed kick-off party, the team saw results right away.

“What we saw the first week (and we haven’t had this happen with our e-learning before) was that we had a lot of people interested very quickly because it was a new, fresh approach to learning. People were curious and that drew people to the tools. And, they are willing to go beyond what is required to earn badges and points,” said Marion Brantley, e-Learning Solutions Manager. “We have leaderboards, which have created some friendly internal competition and, leadership feels compelled to participate to be good examples to others.  People are also encouraging others to participate.”

“It’s working so well, we are expanding it beyond safety training. Right now we have Safety Harbor, and we’re hoping our next addition will be a wellness feature for employees,” said Brantley.

<<Back to newsletter archive


© 2022 Solutions for Patient Safety. All rights reserved.
go to top