Emily Musing
Emily Musing, (R), Vice-President, Quality and Safety, and UHN Chief Patient Safety Officer, visits the Caring Safely booth at Toronto Rehab, University Centre, during last week’s festivities. (Photo: UHN)

We asked: "How are you living Caring Safely?"

The responses reflect more than Caring Safely Education UHN staff members have been receiving for much of 2017, but also the values at the core of our patient and workplace safety transformation.

"When I think of Caring Safely, I believe it is a collaborative approach, which everyone is responsible for and can participate in," said one of the 50 staff members from across UHN who took time to electronically submit their response during Caring Safely Month.

Many more responded in person at booths to celebrate Caring Safely as part of Canadian Patient Safety Week, which took place at the seven UHN sites from October 30 to November 3.

The UHN Error Prevention Tools were top of mind for many respondents. SBAR (Situation, Background, Assessment, Recommendation), STAR (Stop, Think, Act, Review), Clarifying Questions and 3-Way Repeat-Backs, as well as the other safety behaviours outlined in Caring Safety Education sessions, have now become the most common illustration of what people are doing to eliminate preventable harm.

"I have adopted regular use of SBAR when sending emails to elicit input from others," Olivia Ng, Clinical Informatics Pharmacist at Toronto General Hospital, wrote in her submission. "This has provided a helpful framework in organizing the information and highlighting important points.

"I have also posted a copy of the phonetic clarifications by my phone, and have begun using the clarifications when needed."

Read an overview of Caring Safely - Looking back at this year; Looking ahead for the coming year

Others answered "How are you living Caring Safely?" with various examples – reporting good catches and near misses, focusing on falls prevention strategies, confirming every medication dose with another staff member to being more proactive in identifying potential patient and staff hazards. Increased vigilance on patient identification and privacy issues as well as the benefit of safety huddles and ensuring lighting is bright enough and helping patients with wayfinding was also mentioned.

Some of the great feedback from staff included:

"I always assess patients risk for falls, as most of my patients are seniors (living alone or with limited supervision) and use devices for mobility. We record the information on falls/previous history of falls in the chart and discuss it with our team." – Karen Menzes, Social Worker, Toronto General Hospital

"I use the SBAR communication framework when emailing colleagues as often as possible. It helps me to focus my emails and ensures that I get my point across!" Samantha Polito, Pharmacy Resident, Princess Margaret Cancer Centre

"In order to practice Caring Safely, we lock the drawers and put important information away so that it remains confidential and only I could see the info." – Joe Correia, Referral Specialist, Toronto Western Hospital

"In my work, I interact with clients and use many of the Error Prevention Tools. The Phonetic alphabet confirms their information, 3-way repeat backs to ensure they understand when their appointment is, Clarifying Questions to explore their understanding of what we can and cannot offer." Raghad Zaiyouna, Service Coordinator in ABI Program, Toronto Rehab

How are you living Caring Safely?*

Congratulations to the Submission Raffle Winners from TG, TW, PM, TR and Michener

  • Filipa Santos
  • Jig Modi
  • Jovelyn Benhaggai
  • Laurie Graham
  • Mark Camacho
  • Mary Emes
  • Renee Grant
  • Tristan Chappell
  • Veronica Deally

Prizes generously donated by: Master Lock; www.masterlock.com

*Caring Safely Month may be over but we still want to hear "How are you living Caring Safely?"

"I'm Caring Safely by implementing tools such as question and confirm. If I'm uncertain about something that I see, I raise the question to someone rather than presuming that all is well." – Dawn Liddell, Communications Associate, Michener Institute of Education at UHN​

Register for Caring Safely Safety Behaviours & Error Prevention Tools Education

To date, more than 52 per cent of UHN staff and physicians have been trained in Safety Behaviours and Error Prevention Tools. This education is mandatory for all staff at UHN. If you have not yet done so, please register and attend a Safety Behaviours and Error Prevention Tool class. Read for more information on schedules and how to register.​

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