​In this week's Looking Ahead, I continue with an update on our plans and areas of focus for 2016/17.  Again – I've included the areas of focus below and this week's topic is Caring Safely:

  • Purpose, Values and Principles & Strategy
  • Clinical Optimization
  • Caring Safely(formerly known as Safety Transformation)
  • Patient Experience
  • UHN Team Engagement
  • IT Transformation
  • Michener Integration
  • Research and Innovation

During the past year much has been accomplished in the area of safety – for our patients and our staff – and this work has now been named Caring Safely. We have safety huddles on the sites and on many units each day. We see a growing understanding of High Reliability principles such as a commitment to zero preventable harm and an understanding that we must all anticipate problems and make the assumption that failure will happen.  Increasingly we see system failures as learning opportunities and we are committed to learning in teams. And, we are working very hard to continue to build the UHN culture which looks at failure without shame or blame – a just culture.

Milestones for Caring Safely have included the adoption of safety concepts at the senior management and Board level, the establishment of partnerships in this effort with Sick Kids, Women's College and Mount Sinai, information gathering from American hospitals which have been on this journey for many years, and the creation of a Caring Safely Steering Committee and Governance structure. Last June, our safety focus was addressed in some detail at the Annual General Meeting. Since last June we have finalized the 6 Hospital Acquired Conditions (HACs) for our initial focus, we've conducted the Speak Up for Safety survey throughout UHN and we've signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Sick Kids to work together. In recent weeks, we've posted some short videos on the topic and you can find the playlist here if you'd like to take a look.

In the coming weeks, the results of the Speak Up for Safety Survey will be rolled out to managers, the leads in our health care professions and the leads in areas such as Research, SIMS, Finance and Human Resources. As you know, we will have results by units and areas on how people think about safety, whether you feel safe to speak up about risks in the environment and whether you are comfortable suggesting changes which will make the environment safer for our patients and everyone who works here. These results will provide our baseline and will be critical to helping us make UHN a safer place for everyone. We have also heard from Accreditation Canada that our Stand Up For Safety survey will stand as the survey used by Accreditation Canada for UHN in our next accreditation which is very good news. I will thank you again for your participation in the survey and look forward to being able to use these results as we learn and grow on this journey together.

There has also been a tremendous amount of work in the area of education as we develop curriculum and criteria for faculty selection for our safety training courses. This spring we feel that we'll be ready to pilot this core education and will move very quickly to faculty selection. We anticipate that our curriculum will be finalized by September and with our faculty in place, we will begin to train everyone at UHN. Given our size, that will take approximately two years and at the end of that time, everyone here will have the training necessary to play their role in moving UHN towards zero preventable harm.

The Hospital Acquired Conditions – or HACs – that have been selected are Preventable Nosocomial C. difficile Infections (Leads: Dina D'Agostino Rose and Dr. Susy Hota), Central Line Infections (Leads: Linda Flockhart and Dr. Jeff Singh), Adverse Drug Events (Leads: Lori Taylor and Jin Huh), Surgical Site Infections (Leads: Mary Anne Neary and Dr. Tim Jackson), Pressure Ulcers (Leads: Leslie Heath and Dr. Murray Krahn) and Falls (Leads: Leanna Graham and Dr. Jennifer Robblee). I'd like to thank HAC Leads for stepping forward. As you'll see, these are all areas where a great deal of work has been underway and we will continue this work as we drive towards zero preventable harm.

And finally, we have established three priorities in the area of workplace safety to work on in the coming years. They are the reduction of violence in the workplace, a reduction in musculoskeletal injuries and a reduction in the falls for our staff while at work. Everyone who works here must feel safe and must be safe while working because an injury-free workplace means that you can enjoy your work and enjoy your time away from work with friends and family.


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