“We are pleased to receive the Innovation in Patient Safety Education award,” says Kathy Winsor, Corporate Efficiency Consultant, Central Health. “Our trainers work very hard, and look for opportunities to share and fine-tune information to fit the need. It is very rewarding to have that work recognized.”
Central Health is one of the three 2014 recipients of the Patient Safety Education Program – Canada (PSEP – Canada) Innovation in Patient Safety Education award. Their strong commitment to building a culture of patient safety by reaching out and working with all levels of the organization, including the board and leadership is commendable.
In 2012, the Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Health and Community Services called out to the Regional Heath Authorities across the province to participate in the PSEP – Canada program, Central Health seized the opportunity. The PSEP – Canada program takes an inter-professional team approach to improving patient safety skills, planning patient education, and aligning quality improvement initiatives in organizations.
Central Health strategically considered who would be certified as facilitators, looking to reach as many people as possible across the vast geographic area the Health Authority serves. They looked at the key roles in education and those who were role models in patient safety. A list of potential candidates from site-to-site was created and 16 professionals were invited to participate, including clinical educators, corporate improvement staff, managers and frontline employees.
Once the facilitators had completed the three-day PSEP – Canada training, an operational work plan was developed to roll out the program across Central Health. In the work plan indicators and evaluation tools are detailed. The 16 certified trainers now act as ambassadors for the program and promote the patient safety agenda throughout Central Health. Quarterly meetings were identified as one of the strategies to bring the group back together so that they could continue to move the program forward.
A newsletter was sent out to managers and employees to provide insight on the PSEP – Canada program. By pairing with partners, such as the Quality Oversight Improvement Committee (which is made up of the Co-Chairs from all of the Quality Improvement teams), they were able to share information on the modules and handouts in order to support the education needs of their teams.
“The trigger tapes in the PSEP – Canada tool box are a really good way to spark conversations on patient safety,” says Kathy Winsor, “To introduce our Patient Safety Leadership Walk Arounds to new Board members, the executive walk around trigger tape was shown during the Board meeting. We wanted the new Board members to know that we talk to our staff about patient safety and encourage them to attend the leadership walk-arounds so that they too could have discussions with staff about patient safety issues on the ground.”
Central Health is now looking at posting the trigger tapes on their Intranet site to share the information online with their 3,000 employees.
Clinical educators who are PSEP – Canada trainers are using the modules for employee orientation in their program areas. In addition, each month at General Orientation for all new employees a PSEP – Canada trainer will provide a 15-minute presentation on patient safety. Central Health hosts Patient Safety Days during Canadian Patient Safety Week in October each year and the ambassadors are now preparing presentations and posters to profile the modules and their work in patient safety.
Through Public Forums, Central Health is disseminating the information and making presentations. Information on falls prevention and client safety modules are being provided for personal care homes.
“Until it is relevant to the person or group that wants the education, it is a challenge to get your foot in the door,” says Kathy Winsor. “However, wherever we can leave our footprint, we grab every opportunity that comes our way to spread the culture of patient safety.”