​​I'd like to start by thanking all the people who were in touch last week following my message about our journey to become a High Reliability Organization (HRO). Today the Board of Trustees Quality Committee met to discuss our plan to become an HRO. There was strong support and engagement that will enable us to work together to facilitate this transformation over time. A big part of that will be changing the way that we all think about patient safety and the way in which we approach our daily work. As a starting point for shared learning, here three things every one of us can do to contribute to reduce preventable patient harm to zero:

  • Speak up on safety: If you see a situation where you think a patient is at risk, or might be at risk –speak up. Working and learning together in teams will help us to systematically eliminate these risks.
  • Patient identification: Always check that the patient in front of you is the patient you are expecting to see and treat. Always check a second source on that identification.
  • Environmental hazards: When you see that something has been spilled on the floor or you spill something, please take necessary steps to ensure that nobody slips and falls because of the spill.

One of the things that we must all do to take preventable harm to patients, visitors and ourselves to zero is to make sure that we act together to identify risks and then work together to eliminate risks. From what I've seen, UHN's culture and commitment to excellence position us to succeed in our goals to reduce preventable harm to zero.

I'll close this look ahead by saying that I hope you'll join the Epilepsy Program at the Krembil Neuroscience Centre and me on March 26 in wearing something purple. Purple is the international colour for epilepsy, a disorder that affects 1 in every 100 Canadians. Take pictures of your Purple Day gear and Tweet them to @UHN_News with the hashtag #PurpleDay. We'll feature your purple pics on the UHN Facebook page​.


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