“In 2014, more than 190 patients were seriously harmed in Saskatchewan’s health care system and 2,400 staff were injured at work. But, we can do better.” That’s the message of a new video created by the Health Quality Council and the Saskatoon Health Region to increase awareness of a province-wide initiative called Safety Alert/Stop the Line (SA/STL). This initiative is intended to make health care environments safer for everyone – patients, families, staff and physicians.
Kate Fast, Lead of the Safety Alert/Stop the Line Initiative says patients are important partners in improving safety and played a part in developing content for this video.
Patient and family advisors have been involved in the implementation of SA/STL from the start by helping us understand how to support patients and families to speak up when they have a safety concern.” – Kate Fast, SA/STL
SA/STL also includes principles and processes that set out expectations for both staff and physicians to become safety inspectors, and to take action when a situation is potentially unsafe. Staff and physicians are encouraged – and expected – to report all safety concerns. As a result, health system leaders can be aware of risks and can strategically make health care environments safer over time. The focus is placed on early detection and correction, so that safety issues are fixed before causing harm.
“Speaking up for safety takes courage, but it takes very little time,” says Dr. Kunal Jana, a Saskatoon-based urologist, in the video.
Patients, staff and physicians help explain how everyone can make health care SAFER. The acronym, developed by Regina Qu’Appelle Health Region, explains steps taken when encountering a situation that is potentially unsafe: Stop any unsafe activity or procedure; Assess the patient’s or staff’s safety and Alert others to the issue; Fix the safety issue if you can safely do so; Escalate the safety issue to a supervisor/manager if you can’t safely fix it yourself; and Report the safety issue.
The video is available on the Health Quality Council’s YouTube channel, and are distributed to all health regions for use with patients and families, and to orient staff and physicians to SAFER behaviors.
Regional health authorities across Saskatchewan are expected to have SA/STL processes in place by March 2018.
Photo: Dr. Kunal Jana, Urologist