Regular readers of Power Play will remember last month's theme. Patient safety is, of course, more important than ever. However, after months spent witnessing our healthcare system strain under the weight of the pandemic, we concluded that right now patient safety should not focus on the absence of harm. Instead, we will lead the effort to emphasize the presence of safety in healthcare.
Every person in the healthcare journey should be equipped and encouraged to identify patient safety, celebrate it, and share the successes throughout the system. We invite each of you to explore the Presence of Safety web pages for resources you can use. We also invite you to use the communications toolkit to help us spread the word about the Presence of Safety in healthcare.
In this month's Digital Magazine, we are introducing a series of the resources available through the Presence of Safety campaign. Each of them is intended to emphasize safety under the effects of COVID-19. One particular tool, however, focuses on the safety and wellbeing of the people providing care.
Cumulative stress, compassion fatigue, and trauma due to experiences with patient safety incidents impact the mental wellness of our healthcare providers. These factors contribute to inadvertent patient care errors, mental health issues, and attrition which compromise patient safety. In partnership with the Mental Health Commission of Canada, we explored peer support options that not only help healthcare workers with their experiences with patient safety incidents but which also improve the system and help make patient care safe.
The result is "Creating a Safe Space: Addressing the Psychological Safety of Healthcare Workers." In exploring the resources available, you will discover:
- A robust series of documents in four Sections along the side of the page. These include healthcare worker responses to healthcare harm, a scan of peer support programs and best practices, as well as the legal advice in their development.
- A toolkit of resources and templates from organizations across the globe who have successfully implemented their own peer support programs for healthcare providers.
- A webinar series of experts explaining the need for, and value of, peer support programs.
If you are part of a healthcare organization considering peer-to-peer support programs to improve the emotional well-being of healthcare workers, this is the perfect place to start. Backed by research into programs from around the world and across Canada, this is the way to provide the best and safest care to patients.
At the end of your journey of discovery, you can reach out to the Canadian Peer Support Network. This group is intended as a forum for healthcare organizations seeking guidance in the development of their peer support programs to assist providers who have experienced a patient safety incident.
We ask you to spread word about these resources, and to support the healthcare providers who have been struggling during this pandemic.
My inbox is open to you anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org, and you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisPowerCPSI.
Yours in patient safety,