Hi everyone,

October 20-27 is National Patient Safety Week and I'd like to take this opportunity to let everyone know about a Canadian campaign for patient safety that University Health Network has joined. Safer Healthcare Now! is a grassroots campaign enlisting Canadian hospitals and providers to implement six targeted, evidence-based interventions to improve patient safety. It's actually patterned after the successful 100,000 Lives campaign that was launched by the U.S. Institute for Healthcare Improvement, involving more than 2,300 hospitals over 18 months. The six interventions we'll be implementing are best practices that can reduce mortality, morbidity and improve patient safety.

1. Prevent hospitalized patients from dying of heart attacks:
Prevent deaths from acute myocardial infarctions by consistently following evidence-based care. Deb Davies is leading this initiative.

2. Prevent infections related to central lines: 
Central venous catheter-related bloodstream infection (CR-BSI) and deaths from CR-BSI can be prevented by implementing a set of evidence-based interventions in all patients requiring a central line. Dr. Michael Gardam is leading this intervention.

3. Track patient medications every step of the way: 
Prevent adverse drug events (for example, administering an improper dose or administering the wrong medication) by implementing medication reconciliation- a standard process of comparing the patient's current list of medications with any new admission, transfer and discharge orders. Emily Musing is leading this intervention.

4. Extend critical care expertise to patients outside the intensive care unit: 
Rapid response critical care outreach teams (CCOTs) bring the skills and expertise of a critical care unit to meet the needs of patients at risk, anywhere in the hospital. UHN piloted a model for the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care that is now being implemented across other hospitals in Ontario. Drs Stuart Reynolds, Lorenzo Del Sorbo and Stephen Lapinsky are leading this initiative.

5. Prevent surgical site infections (SSIs): 
Prevent SSI and related deaths by implementing a set of evidence-based interventions in all surgical patients. D. Bryce Taylor will be supporting these efforts.

6. Prevent pneumonia in patients on ventilators:
Prevent ventilator-associated pneumonia (VAP) deaths and other complications in patients on ventilators by implementing a set of interventions known as the "VAP bundle." Dr. Neil Lazar and Linda Nusdorfer will be leading this intervention.

As part of our commitment to patient safety, UHN has committed to acting on all six interventions and made the Safer Healthcare Now! campaign a UHN Balanced Scorecard initiative. Our Patient Safety Council, which is being led by Dr. Michael Baker and Mary Ferguson-Paré, will work with individuals and teams to implement these interventions.

I'd like to thank everyone involved in putting these interventions into practice. Your efforts are a great example of innovation and patient-centred care that we can all take pride in at UHN. To learn more, visit www.saferhealthcarenow.ca and www.ihi.org .


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