Dear Providence family,

This week marks Canadian Patient Safety Week, an annual national campaign that aims to inspire innovation and improvement in patient safety. Throughout this week, Providence will host a series of online events to recognize Canadian Patient Safety Week and bring awareness to our own patient safety work.

The delivery of safe, quality care has always been the first priority at Providence Health Care, and the pandemic has just made this more challenging. We should be proud of what we get right, but we also know that we can always do better.

A particular focus for this year’s Patient Safety Week is the issue of “failure to rescue”. This has always been a personal priority and interest of mine so I’m particularly pleased about this focus. If we (or a loved one) are admitted to hospital, we expect that if our condition deteriorates, this will be identified and that we will receive all the care that we need. Sadly we know that this is not always the case – and that nationally and internationally, the clinical condition of patients sometimes deteriorates without this being identified and the right action taken. And of course this almost always happens despite the best individual efforts of all the healthcare workers involved.

Over the last few years we have invested in the Critical Care Outreach Team and the High Acuity Unit to help to address this issue. However when we look at the findings from our mortality reviews, and the issues that get reported in the Patient Safety Learning System (PSLS), we know that we have more work to do. As part of our exploration of this issue, we have therefore invited two thought leaders – Dr. Jeanne Huddleston and Dr. Pat Croskerry – to join us for virtual presentations exploring the relationship between cognitive bias and the failure to recognise a deteriorating patient’s condition.

There will also be a presentation from Providence’s own Dr. Garthe Hunt exploring how we make sense of safety, how we cope with complexity, and how we care for our patients and ourselves when something goes wrong.

Please see Connect for additional details and a full list of Patient Safety Week virtual talks and activities.

In the spirit of improvement we are also undertaking our fifth Patient Safety Culture Survey to hear from you about the culture of patient safety at Providence. We want to know – what are the resource, staff and cultural challenges to providing safe care?  Are we creating positive learning environments that acknowledge that humans are inherently imperfect?  Are we looking deeper into the complex and nuanced systems in which we work?  How do we keep improving despite the challenges of the pandemic?

Please watch for a message from your manager with additional details on accessing and completing this year’s Patient Safety Culture Survey.

Thank you in advance for taking the time to participate in this week’s events, and for your ongoing dedication to patient safety at Providence.

With best wishes