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The final word(s) on UHN’s first Caring Safely Month

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Image of Wordle Words on board
A “Wordle” features the most frequently used words in the nearly 500 responses to the Caring Safely Fair question: “What Does Caring Safely Mean to You?” (Photo: UHN)

We asked: "What does Caring Safely Mean to You?"

And, nearly 500 of you across UHN – in person at our Caring Safely Fairs and via e-mail responses – told us. In some cases, it was a single word or a catch phrase. Other times it was a full sentence or paragraph.

But in all instances it was about the commitment to safety – for each other, patients and their caregivers – that is at the heart of the patient and workplace safety transformation underway at UHN.

Answering the question was one of the key activities featured at the Caring Safely Fairs held across UHN as the culmination of October's inaugural Caring Safely Month. The responses were put into a "Wordle," which generated a word cloud that gives greatest prominence to the words appearing most frequently.

"It was really great to see 'safety,' 'patients,' 'staff' and 'prevention' as the most frequent answers," Emily Musing, UHN's VP of Quality and Safety, says of the Wordle. "It shows that there's a clear appreciation among people here about what matters most as we move forward on Caring Safely."

UHN's patient and workplace safety transformation was launched by President and CEO Dr. Peter Pisters at the 2015 Annual General Meeting. Since then, a great deal of behind-the-scenes work was done to lay the groundwork for the initiative –from a Memorandum of Understanding with SickKids Hospital, the adoption of core safety concepts at the UHN senior management and Board levels, and key committees engaging senior executives, staff across the organization and patient partners, to a Speak Up for Safety survey, the identification of six Hospital Acquired Conditions (HACs) and three high impact workplace injuries for incident reduction, as well as the launch of safety huddles across UHN and an intranet site.

 

caring safety logo

 

Image of Group shot from Toronto Rehab
Toronto Rehab crew at Caring Safely Fair at University Centre (L to R): Helen Bougadis, Angie Andreoli, Susan Jewell, Tim Giblin and Debra Kirbyson. (Photo: UHN)

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But in many ways, October served as the public launch of the Caring Safely brand.

With the goal of increasing that brand as well as awareness of patient and staff safety amongst UHN staff, students, volunteers, patients and caregivers, UHN's annual participation in the Canadian Patient Safety Institute's Canadian Patient Safety Week was expanded to Caring Safely Month. A number of things were used to mark the occasion – from a series of UHN News stories and a Facebook Live featuring Dr. Pisters to Caring Safely messaging in team and site safety huddles to a new video.

The Caring Safely Fairs, held at seven UHN sites, further raised awareness in an engaging and interactive experience. In addition to answering the question "What Does Caring Safely Mean to You," there were educational materials, a display of the new incident reporting system, an opportunity to discuss the safety initiative with colleagues as well as giveaways of branded merchandise and draw prizes.

For a list of the 55 staff draw prize winners across all UHN sites click here .

Fair attendees also got the chance to spin the wheel at the Wellness Wagon and enjoy free refreshments, while staff members were able to get a flu shot – a simple way all of us can care safely.

"UHN's first Caring Safely Month was a hit," Emily declared. "It sparked some great discussions, raised awareness and showed the enthusiasm out there for this very important initiative."

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