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CPSI Share                                                  
10/29/2014 6:00 PM

​​Canada’s Forum on Patient Safety and Quality Improvement 2014 opened on Wednesday, October 29th, with virtual greetings from Canada’s Health Minister Rona Ambrose. In her remarks, the Minister recognized October 27 to 31, 2014 as Canadian Patient Safety Week and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute’s 10th Anniversary. The minister emphasized that safer care is better care and the importance of showcasing best practices in patient safety and quality improvement across Canada and internationally.

Catherine Gaulton, Board Chair, Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) provided a lens for the day, welcoming participants to Canada’s Forum and kicking-off Canadian Patient Safety Week. Hugh MacLeod, CEO, CPSI asked participants to network, learn from one another and to use the patient narratives to create the energy and passion to move the patient safety agenda forward.

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Hugh MacLeod

Patient videos are a key component of Canada’s Forum to set the tone each day. These personal stories demonstrate the importance of Canadian Patient Safety Week and illustrate the tragedies that patients and families have experienced in the healthcare system. Click here to view the videos and read their stories.

To celebrate the past, Donna Davis (Co-Chair, Patients for Patient Safety Canada) led a panel discussion with CPSI’S former CE0, Phil Hassen (Health Innovator-In-Residence, International Centre for Health Innovation), John Wade (former Board Chair, CPSI) and Wendy Nicklin (President and CEO, Accreditation Canada) on the relationships formed, initiatives championed and the groundwork laid for the concerted efforts toward patient safety improvement in Canada. The panel shared their perspectives on the wins, lessons learned and hope for the future. The panel agreed that although much has been done, there is a bolder, more radical effort required to create an even safer healthcare system for patients and families.

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(l to r) Donna Davis, Dr. John Wade, Wendy Nicklin and Phil Hassen

In the opening keynote, Dr. Kishore Visvanathan (Head of Urology, Saskatoon Health Region) delivered a compelling and humorous presentation underscoring shame and blame, respect in the workplace and turning failures into learning opportunities. He related his journey as a recovering perfectionist and how his perspective as a physician has changed.

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Recovering perfectionist, Dr. Kishore Visvanathan demonstrates his Zumba moves 

Innovative change strategies for patient safety were deliberated by a panel including Dr. Brian Wong (Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre), Dr. Ron Collins (British Columbia Patient Safety & Quality Council) and Dr. David Chaulk (Alberta Children’s Hospital). Dr. Wong provided innovative strategies for capacity building and aligning continuing professional development with quality and patient safety initiatives. Dr. Chaulk says that change has to come both from the top down and bottom up. He relayed three useful strategies to consider: know your question in order to focus and finish; get the right people on the bus through strength-based leadership and relationship building; and the art of persuasion, which he called the elephant and the rider and how to win people over. Dr. Ron Collins shared strategies being used through the National Surgical Quality Improvement program (NSQIP), where 600 hospitals are measuring outcomes and using data to leverage cultural change.

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Panelists with innovative strategies (l to r): Dr. Brian Wong, Dr. David Chaulk and Dr. Ron Collins

A two-part panel discussion focused on change strategies looked at culture on the frontline, followed by a response form the top.  Dr. Trey Coffey (The Hospital for Sick Children) and Gwen MacDonald (Capital Health, Halifax) provided insight from the frontline. The leaders responding included Shawn Terison (Good Samaritan Society), Dr. Petrina McGrath (Saskatoon Health Region) and Dr. Jeff Lozon (Lozon Associates). The underlying message from the session reinforced to affect culture change requires challenging the status quo and being curious again.

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(l to r): Dr. Trey Coffey, Gwen MacDonald, Dr. Petrina McGrath, Dr. Jeff Lozon and Shawn Terison

A session on making the patient experience a top priority reinforced the importance of patient-centred care.  Deb Prowse, provided insights on her new role as the Health Advocate for Alberta and Michael Decter (Board Chair, Patients Canada) reinforced the value of listening to the patient to better understand from their experience what can be done to improve healthcare in Canada.

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Michael Decter and Deb Prowse

The closing keynote also addressed the patient experience as a catalyst for change, Margaret Murphy (External Lead Advisor, World Health Organization) received a standing ovation for  validating the power of conversation to impact the patient experience and connecting her insights to underline the importance of the patient and family being listened to and being heard.

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Margaret Murphy

The Accreditation Canada and Canadian Patient Safety Institute inaugural Champion Awards were presented to recognize safer care and stronger partnerships with patients and families. Congratulations to the 2014 Champions: Carolyn Canfield (individual recipient) and Kingston General Hospital (organization recipient)! Click on the link to learn more.

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Daryl Bell, Kingston General Hospital and Carolyn Canfield

Wednesday’s program at the 2014 Forum included a live audience of some 300 participants and more a virtual audience of almost 1,900 viewers from over 500 sites in 10 countries outside of Canada. Over the first part of this week, some 181 participants have tweeted to #asklistentalk and the hashtag has recorded over one million impressions.

French programming for Canada’s Forum is provided at 7:00 am (MT)/9:00 am (ET) each day. Wednesday’s presentation was delivered by Dr. Denis Roy (President and CEO, Health Sciences North) on origins, accomplishments and challenges for the future. Thursday’s program will discuss potholes in the health care system: a patient safety challenge, with thoughts from Lawrence Rosenberg (Executive Director, Jewish General Hospital).

Click here to view archived presentations from the Forum broadcast and pre-conference proceedings. To join the final day of Canada’s Forum, visit