Dr. Peter Pisters on Facebook live
Dr. Peter Pisters (L), UHN President and CEO, sat down with UHN News for a Facebook Live broadcast to discuss the Caring Safely initiative. (Photo: Facebook Live)​

Breaking down the hierarchy that exists within healthcare so that every person feels they can speak up if they see a potential problem, is one of the keys to success for UHN's patient and workplace safety transformation, says President and CEO Dr. Peter Pisters.

Likening it to "a caste system" with physicians at the top, Dr. Pisters says that historical evolution of the healthcare system is outdated today, when so much of the care to patients is delivered by teams.

"And, just like on a football or hockey team, every player is equally important to the outcome," Dr. Pisters said in a Facebook Live conversation with UHN News about the Caring Safely initiative. "We've got to have a system where every member of the team feels very comfortable speaking up."

To see Dr. Peter Pister’s full Facebook Live Q&A from yesterday, please click here​.​

A​s an example, Dr. Pisters said, a ward clerk needs to feel empowered to speak up if he or she sees a member of the care team enter a patient's room without first washing their hands.

Marking Caring Safely Month at UHN by answering questions in a Facebook Live broadcast for the first time, Dr. Pisters touched on a number of topics in a wide-ranging discussion, including the importance of ending the culture of "shame and blame" around medical errors and preventable harm.

Dr. Pisters also discussed what safety lessons those in healthcare can learn from other so-called high-risk industries, the development of a "just culture" and why workplace safety is also a priority at UHN.

"The work we're doing here is extremely important," Dr. Pisters said of Caring Safely. "It's fantastic to see an organization like ours stepping up and leading.

October is ...

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"We know that this effort is receiving tremendous attention across the province and around the country. And, we want to do everything possible to support patient and workplace safety in healthcare."

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