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CPSI Share                                                  
12/22/2014 5:00 PM

​​Canadian Forces Health Services Group (CFHSG) provides medical and dental services to military personnel at installations across Canada and overseas. One of its key priorities is to support and sustain a positive culture of patient safety.  In order for CFHSG to achieve its mission of providing high quality health services to Canada’s fighting forces, it has committed to developing a supportive environment by partnering with and adopting best-practices from established patient safety organizations, such as the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI).  

When CFHSG set out to revamp its patient safety program to include an educational component, it wanted a core curriculum that could be used to train frontline staff and that could be integrated into the basic qualification standards and training for nursing officers, medical officers, dental officers, medical technicians and a number of other health occupations.


Quality and Patient Safety Workshop (March 2014)
Back Row – Randy Bablitz, Maj Richard Grodecki, Ray Rovas, John Thompson, Maj Cheryl Netterfield, Eric St-Amand, Maj Domenico Belcastro, Cdr Greg Haley
Middle Row – Joan Fernandez, LCdr Mary Furlong, Gayle Pokotylo, Cathy Yeager, Sandra Sims, LCol Annie Bouchard, Nathalie Paquette, Maj Laura Jull, Capt Valerie Duggan
Front Row – Karen Evans, Shoba Ranganathan, LCdr Sarah Orr, Capt(N) Cyd Courchesne, Maj Sherissa Microys, Dr. Roy Ilan, Maj Constantine Batsos

 “We looked no further than the Patient Safety Education Program – Canada (PSEP – Canada), as the curriculum was robust and the program could be tailored to fit our needs,” said Shoba Ranganathan, Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer. “The staff at the Canadian Patient Safety Institute have been great to work with in developing our patient safety program. They see the benefit of this collaboration and have provided tremendous knowledge and support.”

The PSEP-Canada “train-the-trainer” model has been adapted for CFHSG’s patient safety program, with some modifications., Five Master Facilitators were recently certified, including a physician, dentist, anaesthetist, nurse and an administrator to allow CFHSG to deliver the training internally, and permit Patient Safety Trainers to be certified in-house as needed.  Another adaptation to the model is the training of Patient Safety Officers by the certified Patient Safety Trainers to deliver key patient safety messages to frontline providers and patients at the clinic and unit levels.

The PSEP – Canada training modules will be implemented in a phased approach. Initially, education sessions will focus on attitudes and knowledge modules. Subsequent modules are being developed to target skills and behaviours. “We feel this approach is more sustainable for our organization to build a foundation in patient safety,” said Ms. Ranganathan.  “As our organizational culture evolves, we will roll out more and more modules of the PSEP – Canada education program. This is a different format and we are very keen and excited about using this methodology.”

The first Quality and Patient Safety Workshop was delivered in March 2014, where five Master Facilitators were certified and 20 participants, including Regional Quality and Patient Safety Advisors, physician leaders, pharmacists, dentists, nurses, and administrators completed the first modules. “This was one of our major initiatives that integrates different roles and will help to breakdown some of the silos that we currently face in the organization,” said Ms. Ranganathan. “Everyone in that room was there to support patient safety initiatives and they were extremely engaged.”

A multi-pronged approach will be adopted to embed patient safety training into CFHSG’s professional and technical roles.  The attitudes and knowledge workshop will soon be delivered again, targeting National Practice Leaders for the various clinical occupations. 

“We want to ensure that we have appropriately trained people within the organization so that they can assist others in understanding their role in patient safety,” said Karen Evans, Program Manager, Patient Safety.  “In order to help further our culture of patient safety we have to determine who should be delivering these messages and how they should be delivered so that they are clear and meaningful.”

A training guide for Patient Safety Officers is also being developed that includes speaking notes on the knowledge and attitude modules to present to staff and patients.  Each training session can be delivered within 45 to 60 minutes, and bite-size key messages are being created that can be delivered at the frontline in five to 10 minute sessions to minimize time away from patient care.

 “We are focusing a great deal of the content in the curriculum to meet our internal needs,” added Ms. Evans.  “For the program to be successful we want our trainers to have a full appreciation and understanding of each educational component.  This approach will help advance our efforts in strengthening and maintaining a culture of patient safety.”

Brigadier-General Jean-Robert. Bernier, Surgeon General, has directed that the CFHS PSEP-Canada program be fully integrated across CFHSG.  “Maintaining a positive patient safety culture requires that all our personnel understand and accept their responsibilities for patient safety.  The PSEP-Canada program is a foundational component of our patient safety efforts to inform our personnel as they strive to deliver high quality and safe patient care, whether in our static centres across Canada or in deployed military and humanitarian missions overseas” said Brigadier-General Bernier.

Presentation of the PSEP – Canada Innovation in Patient Safety Education Award 2014 (left to right): Chief Warrant Officer Helen Wheeler, CFHSG; Shoba Ranganathan, Chief Quality and Patient Safety Officer, CFHSG; Hugh MacLeod, CEO, CPSI; Brigadier-General Jean-Robert Bernier, Surgeon General; and Joan Fernandez, Patient Safety Improvement Lead, CPSI

Canadian Forces Health Services Group was recently awarded the Innovation in Patient Safety Education Award 2014 that recognizes organizations and groups that demonstrate best practices in patient safety and quality improvement work. CFHSG is the first Canadian hub to implement the train-the-trainer model to advance patient safety education nationally in order to effect system-wide change across the organization.  “The health, welfare, and trust of our patients depend on our robust and continuous application of patient safety measures.  PSEP-Canada provides our staff the knowledge, resources, and attitude to help develop and sustain a strong culture of patient safety,” said Brigadier-General Bernier. “To be recognized by CPSI as a national leader in patient safety education is a tremendous honour and an indication that we’re progressing in the right direction.”