In its ongoing quest to promote patient safety and to provide a better overall patient care system, officials from Central Health held a forum on patient safety in Harbour Breton on June 13.
Presentations were given on the following topics related to the forum’s theme: Infection Prevention and Control, Your Right, Everyone’s Responsibility by Quinton Hewlett; Patient Safety, Your Voice by Laura Sampson, Medication Safety by Evelena Verge and Your Safety: Client and Caregiver by Kathy Winsor.
Kathy Winsor, the Patient Safety Officer with Central Health, said that patient safety is very important for her region.
Winsor said that the public forums on patient safety are very important part of the process in promoting patient safety.
She said, “Through these forums, like the one here today and the one scheduled for New Wes Valley in October, we want people to realize that they have to be our partners in making health care as safe as it can be.
“We want patients to be informed about safety issues such as medication safety so that, hopefully, they can ask the right questions and to understand the information they need to know. In this way, staff and patients, together, can make health care as safe as possible and provide the best quality care possible.”
She said that patients have a key role to play in promoting safety which can include asking health care providers questions about medications such as possible side effects; letting health care providers know if they do not explain things in a way they understand and to keep asking questions until patients have all the information needed.
Winsor said that the Central Health initiative to promote patient safety ties in with Patient Safety Week, a time period endorsed by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, which is a national conglomerate for patient safety.
She noted that patient safety includes a broad spectrum of disciplines from hand hygiene to accuracy in patients’ charts
She said, “Nurses and other health officials do a lot of things in prompting patient safety that may not be even evident when they visit a patient’s beside.
“We’re trying to really shift the culture of patient safety as we really want this issue to have its own face so that when people come through our doors they will know we’re trying to do our best.
“It would be foolish for me to say that mistakes won’t be made, but we’re trying our best to get better in this area and, step by step, I’m sure we’ll get better at it in the years ahead.”