The process for selecting the Province of Ontario's first Provincial Patient Ombudsman was announced with an open invitation for people to participate in the process by submitting their thoughts on the qualities that they would like to see in the person who holds this position.  This www.ontario.ca/page/help-recruit-ontarios-first-patient-ombudsman​  will take you to a website where comments may be given on this role. Please feel free to participate and encourage friends, family and patients to take part in this public consultation.

Recent media attention has been focused on violence in the workplace with a particular focus on the violence experienced by health care workers from their patients. A year ago UHN made it possible for any staff member to report such incidents and, as a result of that capability, UHN has seen an increase of incidents from previous years.

Our journey into a high reliability organization will include an important focus on workplace safety and the safety of our employees. The safety of everyone who works at UHN and our visitors is critical. I want all of us to think about workplace safety and I encourage everyone at UHN to report these incidents. We need to work as a team to identify the times when we are at risk so that measures can be taken to keep us safe while we provide care. As we all realize, most abuse from patients which is directed at members of the care team comes at a time when our patients are confused, coping with the effects of substance abuse, treatment or medication, or they have some form of cognitive difficulty. Considering this, we must be compassionate but also realistic as we approach combative patients with altered mental status.

As I have said before, speak up on safety: patient safety, employee safety, and workplace safety.

Peter

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