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CPSI Share                                                  
10/31/2013 6:00 PM

​​​Every day heroes on the frontline often go unrecognized for their courage, abilities, dedication and hard work.  At Canada’s Virtual Forum on Patient Safety and Quality Improvement, it was a day to recognize and appreciate healthcare heroes on the frontline. These are but a few of the heroes that we are inspired by and pleased to showcase in today’s presentations:



Providing a perspective on safe care and the difference nurses make, Tilda Shalof, Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Toronto General Hospital says we often focus on what has gone wrong and forget that so many things go right.  “As a nurse, there is no worse feeling than to know that you have caused harm when you know that it is your job to keep the patient safe,” says Tilda Shalof.  “We have to be mindful of what we do and how high the stakes are. Nurses are not heroes for keeping patients safe. When nurses keep people safe, they are doing their job properly.”


Jerry Bell, Manager, Emergency Department, Pasqua Hospital in Regina, Saskatchewan asks, do you work with someone needing an attitude adjustment? in a presentation on changing attitudes and prejudices.  “Attitude is the way we think, feel and do,” says Jerry Bell.  “A positive attitude promotes effective communication, provides the patient and family with the confidence that the care they receive is the best possible, and improves patient care. We are privileged to work in the healthcare system and when we provide care from the heart, we practice safe care.”

Dr. Trina Montemurro, Anesthesiologist, Providence Health Care talks about changing the culture through peer pressure. “The way we do things around here becomes the way things are understood, judged and valued,” says Dr. Montemurro. “Changing a culture needs to come from the bottom up, is dependent on team approach and must be supported top down.” Two key components in changing the culture to implement a surgical safety initiative and surgical checklists at Providence Health Care are leading by example and creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable speaking up.

Darlene Bartkowski, Clinical Nurse Educator, Alberta Health Services describes how a unique toolbox created while being a part of the Safer Healthcare Now! Stop Infections Now! Collaborative helped to increase compliance with hand hygiene and environmental cleaning practises to reduce hospital acquired infections. “We formed a multidisciplinary team and identified heroes that existed within our communities,” says Darlene Bartkowski. “Their enthusiasm was contagious and it became evident that the power to make a difference was in our hands.”

(Left to right) Donna Davis, Dr. Amy Nakajima and Nadine Glenn

In individual presentations from  Donna Davis, Co-Chair, Patients for Patients Safety Canada; Nadine Glenn, Project Manager, Canadian Patient Safety Institute; and Dr. Amy Nakajima, Lecturer, University of Ottawa and Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, The Ottawa Hospital discussed the impact of disclosure from varying perspectives.

“There are heroes on the frontline that you may not meet – patients and families who have experienced harm,” says Donna Davis. “None of us can change what has happened, but through our collective voice we can change what will happen. We want to partner and have a wealth of knowledge to share to move the patient safety agenda forward.”

Nadine Glenn describes a harmful incident where a wrong drug was administered that resulted in multi-organ failure and the untimely death of a patient under her care. “From the time we are young, we are taught to say, I’m sorry,” says Nadine Glenn. “By learning from our mistakes, we can make care processes safer.”

Dr. Amy Nakajima is teaching medical students how to acknowledge harm, how to apologize and how to complete a medical incident report. “Our actions can be just as impactful as our words and we need to bring compassion and empathy back into our medical training,” says Dr. Nakajima.  “Blame and shame attitudes still exist in healthcare. We need to promote open communication.”

The French only presentation centered on quality improvement efforts at the Montreal Children’s Hospital.  Dr. Nadine Korah, Physician and Medical Officer for Quality and Patient Safety, General Pediatrics at the Montreal Children’s Hospital provided details of an aggressive hand washing campaign and efforts to transform care at the bedside.

Click here to watch all of this week’s sessions from Canada’s Virtual Forum on Patient Safety and Quality Improvement. Join the conversation and provide your questions and comments in the “Cover it Live” box and so that we can share them with our presenters and virtual audience. And, let us know your thoughts through Twitter at #asklistentalk.

Over 2,500 viewers watched today’s broadcast.  The final session of Canada’s Virtual Forum 2013 will broadcast live on Friday from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm (MDT).  Register now to participate and learn more about Power to the Patient. 

Here are some of the comments we have received from Canada’s Virtual Forum viewers:

“Thanks again! Congrats for the great job you all have done with the forum.” (Argentina viewer)

Brilliant webcast concept from CPSI. Quality of candidates and information presented has made this virtual forum a success. Well done. (Stefan Dreesen, Publisher Hospital News)

An excellent forum. I like the quick videos highlighting relevant areas of patient safety and including the patient’s voice throughout the forum. Thank you for providing this in a virtual environment so that some of us in rural locations have had opportunity to attend and participate. (i.e the ability to ask questions/leave comments, etc.)

This was a very enjoyable agenda of topics. Very relevant to the workplace. I learned a lot and now have a lot to think about. Thank you for offering this series of presentations that were so easy to access!