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CPSI Share                                                
7/14/2011 6:00 PM

​​Education sessions held for Ontario Hospital Boards on quality and patient safety

The Effective Governance for Quality and Patient Safety Education Program and Toolkit, developed by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation, are proving to be  effective tools in supporting Boards to improve governance for quality and patient safety.

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Canadian Health Services Research Foundation partnered with the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and the Ontario Hospital Association to adapt and provide the Effective Governance for Quality and Patient Safety Education Program to support implementation of the Excellent Care for All Act, which was passed in the Ontario legislature in June 2010.  This progressive legislation has placed increased emphasis on hospital board accountability for quality and patient safety.

Six sessions were held between March and May 2011, in five Ontario communities, including London, Toronto, Ottawa, North Bay and Thunder Bay.  The program helped participants to more fully understand a board’s core functions related to quality and patient safety; identify approaches to measure quality of care; recognize how a culture of quality and patient safety within an organization can be led, supported and sustained by the Board; and identify tools, structure, processes and priorities that will assist in enhancing their organizations’ governance practices related to quality and patient safety. At the end of the sessions, participants developed Action Plans for implementation in their home organization.

Joan Dawe, former Board Chair of Eastern Health in Newfoundland and Labrador and a member of the Faculty that developed the Effective Governance for Quality and Patient Safety Education Program and Toolkit led some of the Ontario sessions. “Historically, Boards have focused more  on financial  performance and accountability, leaving quality and patient safety to medical staff and administration, however today their engagement and level of discussion is much broader and more complex,” says Joan.  “Evidence indicates that devoting at least 25 per cent of the board’s time to quality and safety will result in better outcomes for patients. To foster a culture of quality and patient safety and fulfill their oversight role, Board members need to know how to ask the difficult questions that will help them fully understand what is happening in their organizations and make decisions that will ultimately improve quality of care for the people they serve. This program is invaluable in helping Board members fully understand the core functions related to quality and safety with a special emphasis on the Excellent Care for All Act.”

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute is looking to partner with health regions and the provinces to deliver the Effective Governance for Quality and Patient Safety Education Program.  This approach ensures that a critical mass of leaders within a region or organization gain a common skill set and knowledge that is tailored to specific local circumstances.  For more information, contact Abigail Hain, ahain@cpsi-icsp.ca.