First of all, I would like to thank everyone who participated in STOP! Clean Your Hands Day on May 4. We had a very successful hand hygiene awareness campaign: CPSI led advertising campaigns on Google and Facebook to promote this year's event. As a result, we saw tremendous response across the country to our messages.
There were over 14,000 page views at www.handhygiene.ca. There were over two million exposures to our hashtags – #STOPcleanyourhands and #thebugstopshere – over the two days, more than 150 people tuned in to our webinar and 2,000 people took the hand hygiene quizzes. I was delighted to see Federal Health Minister Petitpas Taylor and Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam participate as well, and Mayor Jim Parsons of Corner Brook, NF even took the extra step of singing a proclamation declaring May 5 World Hand Hygiene Day for the city! Congratulations to our team and our partners.
Last month, I talked to you about the launch of our new strategic direction, Patient Safety Right Now. At nearly the same time, Health Canada's external review of federally funded pan-Canadian health organizations (PCHOs) was announced. The report is very well written and incredibly well thought out: remarkably, its recommendations echo our own focus on the importance of patient safety in our healthcare system. Each of the PCHOs was invited to provide feedback, and we will watch to see what becomes of the report's suggestions.
Only weeks after the launch and PCHO report, I was invited to the Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety in Tokyo, Japan. I participated in several panels in front of representatives from more than 40 countries and was invited to speak at an international summit on patient safety at the nearby Gunma University. We can hold our heads high: organizations around the world enthuse about the work we do in Canada.
However, we might not have the same profile in our own country. We recently commissioned a public awareness survey about patient safety in Canada: not only did we find that 70% of Canadians claim little to no knowledge of patient safety issues in our healthcare system, but only one in ten correctly say that patient safety incidents are the third leading cause of death in Canada. Once they were introduced to the issue, three quarters of Canadians were concerned about experiencing a patient safety incident and interested in learning how to keep safe in healthcare.
The study was a wake up call for us, reinforcing the need for our new strategic direction. Patient Safety Right Now intends to demonstrate best practices in health care, but also must strengthen commitment to patient safety in Canada among providers, leaders and the public. We know now that once people learn about the issues we face, they are motivated to learn more and take action… Right Now! We look forward to sharing more details about this study in the future.
Finally, I want to share the exciting news that so many have been waiting to hear. We are announcing the theme and dates for Canadian Patient Safety Week. Medication Safety is a broad issue, and this year we have decided to focus on polypharmacy: the patient risk when multiple medications start to interact with each other, especially among more vulnerable people in our communities. I hope you will register for our updates and participate in Canadian Patient Safety Week from October 29-November 2, 2018.
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Yours in patient safety,