Hi everyone,

At the end of April we held our annual Board retreat, with the Board of Directors and senior leaders from UHN spending the day focused on patient safety. In the morning, experts from a number of national and international patient safety organizations shared the latest research and initiatives to improve patient safety. In the afternoon, we heard presentations from our UHN colleagues on patient safety initiatives currently under way at UHN.

This "Straight Talk" is about what you should know about UHN's patient safety initiatives and the things you can do to make this a safer place for all of our patients, their families, our volunteers and, of course, our staff. My assumption is that we all work every day to deliver the highest quality of care in a safe environment. However, we can always improve on safety as part of our commitment to Caring.

Below are some things that you can do to make this a safer place for our patients:

  • If you see something that you think is unsafe, speak up. Work with your colleagues and manager to change routines and processes to make them better and safer.
  • Report near misses, minor incidents and critical incidents affecting or potentially affecting a patient, staff or the hospital by using the electronic reporting system located on the Corporate Intranet.
  • This information is vital to improving all sys​tems and translating what we learn in one place to the whole of UHN.
  • Read about UHN's patient safety initiatives (including UHN's involvement in the national Safer Healthcare Now! campaign) on the intranet, in UHN News and the Balanced Scorecard Quarterly Results. We're gathering all of the information in one central intranet site so that you can see the major projects and participate as appropriate.
  • When planning with your team and manager include specific and measurable goals, which will make your area safer for your patients.
  • Wash your hands before and after you see each and every patient. If everyone at UHN did this, we could virtually eradicate all hospital-acquired infections.
  • Wear your identification card at all times. It helps your patients, family members and colleagues know that you are a member of the UHN team.
  • If you see people without identification cards, ask if you can help them. 

We want to make this a place where people feel comfortable in speaking up about what needs to change to improve patient safety. To that end, your senior management team has committed to visiting every in-patient clinical unit at UHN to conduct Patient Safety Rounds. We want to hear your suggestions about patient safety. Along with the Executive Directors, Clinical Directors and Managers we will work at incorporating the insights and creativity of front line staff in improving the patient experience.


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