Two TG Outpatient Pharmacy team members talking
Kristoffer Ilagan, a Pharmacy Tech at the Toronto General Hospital Outpatient Pharmacy, and Dian Duong, the Medication Reimbursement Specialist and Caring Safely Safety Coach, discuss the Caring Safely Tool of the Month for July. (Photo: UHN)

It's sharing time at the Toronto General Hospital (TG) Outpatient Pharmacy team safety huddle.

On this particular morning, Pharmacist Shelina (Shelly) Bardai, has the floor. She tells the group a recent example of how she has used the July Caring Safely Tool of the Month, Cross Check, in her daily work.

"I received a prescription for a medication that is not normally prescribed for a child, and only comes in tablet form," Shelly says. "I checked to make sure the dose was correct for the child.

"Then, I double-checked it with my colleague, who confirmed and double-checked my calculations, and also made a recommendation to check if a compounding pharmacy was able to compound it (create a special drug product formulation for the unique needs of the patient) so it would be easier for the child to take."

Shelly's experience is just one example of how the TG Outpatient Pharmacy team shares at safety huddle. Each day, one member is selected to share how they use a Caring Safely error prevention tool.


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"This approach has changed the team dynamic," Shelly says. "It creates an environment to share and learn from one another.

"In addition, I think it makes the individual more conscious in using the error prevention tool in the work environment."

TG Outpatient Pharmacy team at Safety Huddle
Members of the TG Outpatient Pharmacy team meet for their daily safety huddle. (Photo: UHN)

"At UHN, we want to avoid errors everywhere in the hospital, that includes us in pharmacy," says Anna Lee, Director, Pharmacy Outpatient Operations and Corporate Business. "The safety huddles are now a good chance for staff to review and improve our own operations and processes too."

In total, nearly 60 pharmacy staff across five UHN Outpatient Pharmacies, (TG Outpatient Pharmacy, Transplant Outpatient Pharmacy, Clinic Pharmacy, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre Outpatient Pharmacy and Toronto Western Hospital Shoppers Drug Mart) take part in daily team huddles.

"Staff are now more likely to have open dialogue about near misses so that we can reduce them in the future," said Eugenia Chan, Acting Site Operations Manager, TG Outpatient Pharmacies.

The Caring Safely Tool of the Month campaign aims to help transition safety behaviours and error prevention tools into work habits. Every month, the Caring Safely team sends leaders a toolkit that includes tips and resources to help bring the error prevention tool to life with staff, such as example scenarios, huddle scripts, and posters.

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