Celebrating Canadian Patient Safety Week Series
For Sean Bisschop, the Quality and Patient Safety Coordinator at Orillia Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital, Canadian Patient Safety Week 2010 was a fantastic opportunity to engage patients and staff and to shine a spotlight on patient safety and quality improvement.
“Canadian Patient Safety Week really put the spotlight on patient safety – allowing staff and patients to talk openly and freely about it. Momentum built as people caught on to the idea,” Bisschop says. “One of our goals was pure participation. There was growing interest (as the week went on and as) word spread with staff calling to see what’s next on the schedule.”
One of the highlights from Canadian Patient Safety Week was Patient Safety Stories, a noon-hour catered lunch with a number of topics revolving around patient safety culture. Co-hosted by Bisschop and the Chair of the Board, the session featured a viewing of a video produced by the Josie King Foundation which tells the story of 18-month-old Josie King, who died from medical error in 2001, as well as a video titled ‘Beyond Blame,’ which addresses healthcare providers and their reactions to the errors in which they were involved.
“This session stimulated a lot of conversation about the culture of blame, asking questions and owning up to mistakes. It created a safe place for folks to think and talk about errors. It was very compelling and word spread quickly,” Bisschop says, adding that several of the units and staff who couldn’t attend were asking if additional sessions could be organized so they could also watch the videos. A member of the Senior Leadership Team also asked to show the video at their team’s next meeting.
Another highlight from the Canadian Patient Safety Week celebrations was the “Walk in a Patient’s Shoes – Live with Staff” event hosted in the cafeteria by the hospital’s Regional Falls Program staff. As part of the event, staff members were fitted with various pieces of equipment designed to simulate seniors’ health issues and asked to navigate hospital spaces.
For instance, weight bags were strapped to one leg to simulate mobility barriers, oven mitts were adorned to mimic reduced sensation when using a cane or walker, and ear plugs and special glasses were used to replicate hearing and vision problems.
Regardless of the impairment, Bisschop says the experience was an eye-opener for staff and that even hospital president and CEO Elisabeth Riley got involved by strapping herself into a ceiling lift used to transport patients with reduced mobility around a room via tracks on the ceiling.
The entire event was captured on video, featuring comments from staff reflecting on their experiences and shown to staff.
“Our leadership was great,” Bisschop says. “Patients and staff really enjoyed seeing staff, Board members and members of the senior team step into their shoes.”