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Delivering high quality and safe care is the most important thing we do for patients at UHN.
On Wednesday, Nov. 15, the second annual UHN Summit on Quality & Safety will underscore that fact by bringing together more than 200 members of TeamUHN in the MaRS Discovery District for a full day of in-person interactive breakout sessions and collaboration opportunities.
One of the highlights of this year's event will be an introduction to a new operational strategic plan for UHN Quality & Safety. More than 1,000 members of TeamUHN were engaged in the development of this plan, which will guide the organization to improve outcomes and experiences for patients and TeamUHN.
In addition, it will also feature a keynote address on “The puzzles of cultivating a patient safety culture: Lessons from the U.K," by Drs. Justin Waring and Graham Martin of The Healthcare Improvement Studies (THIS) Institute in Cambridge, England.
Ahead of the summit, Dr. Lucas Chartier, UHN's Vice President, Quality & Safety and Chief Patient Safety Officer, sat down with
UHN News to discuss the event, the new operational strategic plan for UHN Quality & Safety, and how safety is at the core of everything we do at UHN.
Q: What do you hope attendees will take away from the UHN Summit of Quality & Safety?
(Dr. Chartier) This year, the focus is on collectively strengthening UHN's safety culture. We hope attendees will walk away with practical tools to continuously improve that culture, develop new connections to tackle cross-cutting problems and be energized to continue to collaborate on building the safest and highest quality care delivery systems.
Q: Why is safety culture important to the delivery of care?
An organization's safety culture reflects what the organization fundamentally values. A strong safety culture can improve outcomes for patients and team members. In a positive safety culture, everyone in the organization places safety first and feels safe in speaking-up about concerns – even when it is uncomfortable. People work together to identify and mitigate potential safety threats, which leads to improved care delivery and experiences. The last few years have been incredibly difficult on our teams and a more positive and safer work environment helps everyone enjoy their work that much more.
Q: You've been asking people to complete a Safety Culture Survey. How will that information to be used to inform safety priorities across UHN?
Safety culture is a "leading indicator" for preventable harm, which means it can often be used to predict issues prior to harm occurring. Results of the survey will provide crucial data points on our System Quality Priorities (SQPs) of Escalation of Care (EOC), and Transfer of Accountability/Information (TOA/I), and on important dimensions including communication, team dynamics, and safety event reporting. We will then be able to locate areas of strength to celebrate and spread across TeamUHN, and opportunities for improvement where we can proactively design, implement, and support interventions that make care safer. If you haven't done so, there's still time to complete the
Safety Culture Survey.
Q: At the Summit, you will be sharing the framework for a new operational strategic plan for UHN Quality & Safety. Why does TeamUHN need a strategy specific to quality & safety?
The new operational strategic plan for UHN Quality & Safety is an opportunity for us to look ahead and align on a common purpose. This is why it was imperative for us to engage TeamUHN and patients in its co-design. We wanted to create a plan reflective of what truly matters to TeamUHN and our patients. This plan will make our approach and direction more tangible and will help us embed quality and safety into everything we do.
The aim of this new operational plan for UHN Quality & Safety is to deliver the best outcomes and experiences for patients and TeamUHN to achieve A Healthier World by collectively designing, implementing, and evaluating the safest and highest quality systems and care. This work will be driven by four foundational pillars in key areas – safety culture, quality improvement, optimizing data, and team building. And, we anticipate strong alignment with UHN's refreshed Strategic Directions, which are in development.
Q: How can TeamUHN get further involved in Quality & Safety work at UHN after the summit?
We hope to continue inspiring TeamUHN to engage in quality and safety work through our biweekly UHN Quality & Safety Educational Rounds (click to be added to the email list), our Intro to Quality Improvement workshops, and through the many resources available on our
Q&S SharePoint site (e.g., navigating Q&S at UHN; education opportunities, etc.). We also encourage all of TeamUHN to use our
Error Prevention Tools, implement our prevention bundles for
hospital acquired conditions, and actively participate in daily safety huddles.