3B team at Toronto Western Hospital
The 3B team at Toronto Western Hospital celebrates 30 days with no falls and 60 days with no pressure ulcers (Photo: UHN)

They are symbols of accomplishment, visual recognition of a job well done in harm reduction. They are Safety Achievement Badges.

Since the program began one year ago, 17 badges have been awarded to teams across UHN.

Safety Achievement Badges by the numbers

  • 17 badges earned since August, 2015
    • 11 no pressure ulcer badges
    • 5 no falls badges
    • 1 no medication errors badge
  • ​90 days without a fall in CICU – Longest period without an incident

"I applaud the many teams being recognized for their efforts and look forward to working with them and the Lean team on our safety journey," says Emily Musing, Executive Director of Pharmacy, Clinical Risk and Quality, Patient Safety Officer, UHN.

Earning a badge represents months of effort focused on achieving a meaningful goal related to harm prevention  –  pressure ulcers, falls, medication errors or central line infections.

"Ensuring safety is at the forefront of our minds and each decision and action that we take is crucial," says Emily. "We live and work in a complex environment and we are dealing with patients at their most vulnerable. Staff are also challenged by the many competing priorities requiring their attention."

All teams must overcome unique challenges to succeed and those that do tend to have a few things in common.

"Time and again we've seen that high performing teams operate the same way," says Brenda Kenefick, Director, Lean Process Improvement. "Teams focus on a goal and huddle daily to review their performance. They debrief after an incident to determine if a standard process was in place, and if it was followed correctly."

When the process wasn't followed the team finds out why, and if necessary they change it to make sure it's followed the next time. If the process was followed, they look deeper to find out what caused the incident and update their standard to keep it from happening again.

"Most importantly, they celebrate," says Brenda. "It's something you can never do too much of because celebrations motivate teams to reach their next goal."

Unit 3B at Toronto Western Hospital is a unit that earned two safety achievement badges.

Silvi Groe, Interim Clinical Director, TWH, and former nurse manager on the unit, joined the team as they celebrated their first 60-day badge for no pressure ulcers and their first 30-day badge for no falls.

"Daily safety huddles are a key part of our safety transformation," says Silvi. "Through the huddles 3B Fell is establishing a culture where patient and employee safety are everyone's priority.

"Team members feel comfortable discussing their concerns openly and honestly."​

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