New resources support Saskatchewan patients, family members to speak up about safety concerns

Posted on May 16 2016 | 2884 views

New resources support Saskatchewan patients, family members to speak up about safety concerns

Health regions in this province now have access to a variety of materials aimed at supporting patients and family members to speak up if they have concerns about the safety of their care. The resources, which were distributed to safety leads around the province in early April, were developed by the Health Quality Council (HQC), in collaboration with patient and family advisors, and health region staff.

Among the new tools are an “Ask Me” button worn by staff to invite patients and families to ask questions or raise safety concerns, and a patient-provider communications journal, in which patients and family members can jot down their questions or concerns, and providers can provide responses. The “toolkit” includes recommendations on how to use each, and identifies which Accreditation Canada standards can be fulfilled through application of the tools.

The team that developed the materials brainstormed ideas for tools, reviewed existing materials that matched their ideas, then recommended those they felt were the best fit for Saskatchewan. Brendan Pikaluk, policy and project consultant with the Safety Alert/Stop the Line initiative housed at HQC says it was critical to involve patients and families in developing the new resources. “Too often, we create resources for patients and families that they’ve had no input on, and we end up doing to rather than with, which can result in materials that are not very effective,” says Pikaluk.

The Safety Alert/Stop the Line team spearheaded development of the new tools to lighten the load for health regions. “Rather than each region having to go through the whole process on their own, they can select from a menu of highly recommended options,” says Pikaluk. Having common materials across the province also makes it easier for patients, who may receive care in more than one region.

Health regions are being encouraged to review the new tools with their local patient/family advisors and family advisor councils, select the items they feel are the best fit for them, create local versions, and then put them into use.

Categories: Safety, Patient and family-centred care

Tags: patient safety , Safety Alert / Stop the Line

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