KGH wins big Patient Safety Award

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Patient- and Family-Centred Care recognized for its important role in making the hospital safer

We all know that Patient- and Family-Centred Care (PFCC) improves the patient experience, but Kingston General Hospital is now being recognized for how the initiative is also improving safety in our hospital. The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) and Accreditation Canada announced KGH as the winner of their 2014 Patient Safety Champion Award during Canadian Patient Safety Week.
 
Each year the award is handed out to an organization that has excelled at partnering with patients and families on safety initiatives. To win the award, KGH showed how our Patient Experience Advisors have had an impact on safety and how our PFCC model can be shared with other health care organizations.
 
“Ensuring that the patient perspective is part of every decision-making process has become the way of doing things at Kingston General Hospital," says CPSI CEO Hugh MacLeod. "The organization has set a great example for others to follow and is to be commended for their commitment to supporting the involvement of patients and families in everything that they do, and especially in patient safety and quality improvement initiatives.”
 
Accreditation Canada and CPSI also spoke about KGH’s work to include our 61 Patient Experience Advisors on a number of committees and project teams that focused on safety. For example, advisors have been included in work to reduce specimen collection errors, reduce patient falls, improve hand hygiene rates, and improve patient identification practices.
 
“Ultimately, by partnering with patients and families we have been able to help determine if the care we provide is safe and that we have the information needed to make well-informed decisions,” says Daryl Bell, Lead for the Patient- and Family-Centred Care initiative.
 
The award also recognizes the ongoing communication between KGH staff and patient and families as a key to safety. Our five PFCC standards, including the wearing of name tags and hourly rounding, open up the communication channels that allow patients to become active participants in their care and help improve safety. For example, when patients feel comfortable communicating with their care team they can remind someone to wash their hands when they enter their room, or ask questions about their care that could prevent a future safety issue.
 
Bell says the whole initiative however is bigger than any one individual safety project, but rather a change in the way the hospital looks at patient safety. “Having patients and families present at the table has enhanced our conversations and brought a perspective that had been sorely lacking. Looking back, it is humbling to realize the time we spent doing ‘to’ and ‘for’ patients, and not ‘with’ them.