The Ottawa Hospital is a large academic centre with two tertiary care campuses, the General and the Civic, each with about 500 beds. Four units across the continuum of care (including intensive care, main operating room, geriatric assessment unit and surgical ward) were selected to participate in a pilot project to use the CPSI Safety Competencies to create a culture of patient safety. A modular training program was later developed, in part using the Patient Safety Education Program (PSEP-Canada), centered on two of the Safety Competencies: creating a culture of patient safety and communications and Teamwork. About 80 staff were trained and participants completed a patient safety cultural assessment prior to and at the end of the training program.
“We looked for the statistical difference in where they thought they were in terms of core patient safety knowledge and concepts before and again after the sessions,” says Linda Hunter, Director, Quality and Patient Safety, The Ottawa Hospital. “At the same time we monitored patient safety indicators particular to their domain of work over the entire year of the project. What we are trying validate in our hypothesis is that education, coupled with mentoring, training, real life practicality and doing an initiative for quality and patient safety will over time engrain measureable change in the patient safety culture at the unit level. Results from the initial patient culture assessment will be compared to confirm if there is a change and if it is sustained.”
An eight-hour patient safety training program was developed, which includes six modules, each varying from 30 to 90 minutes. The sessions include a general introduction to patient safety, what is patient safety, patient safety competencies, an introduction to quality improvement measures, teamwork, and communications. All presentations, with the keynote address and video vignettes, have been posted to the hospital’s InfoNet for staff to access.
Hunter completed a literature review and also used the PSEP-Canada material to develop the learning modules: “Organizations are very well-intentioned, but have limited time for preparation for just-in-time education. PSEP-Canada is excellent to use as a basis for education materials as the pre-work is already completed. The role-playing and modelling games, vignettes and CDs, information on PowerPoint rather than PDF so that one can pull what is pertinent is extremely valuable.”
“It is very important to align a program to how the organization looks at quality and patient safety,” adds Hunter. “Our program supports our quality framework, our definition of quality, and other initiatives we are doing so that staff see the practicality. We had created a plan for patient safety education prior to incorporating the PSEP-Canada into our program and it was interesting to see how the work aligned. We had the idea, we had the plan, but we did not have the resources to implement. PSEP-Canada provided the ability to develop internal capacity and get more staff trained to understand that patient safety is a science and with sound understanding behind that we can create a culture of patient safety.”
Hunter has completed both the Patient Safety Officer Course and the Patient Safety Education Program. “The PSEP program is very strong in facilitating and understanding the instructional techniques of being a train-the-trainer, however there are basic concepts that you need to learn first. The Patient Safety Officer Course teaches core competencies and it is important to have staff in your organization who understand the concepts of patient safety. If you don’t have anyone in your organization trained to be a Patient Safety Officer, have them take that course first,” advises Hunter.
Click on the link for upcoming sessions and more information on the PSEP-Canada program.