Excellence in Quality

Quality Improvement Plan

Keep me safe

Image of someone keeping another person safe As care providers, we understand patients put their trust in us at a very vulnerable time in their lives. Caring for them is a privilege, and with that privilege comes responsibility. One of our most important responsibilities is to ensure we keep patients safe. At St. Michael’s, we are relentless in our commitment to eliminating unnecessary harm. Our approach is multi-faceted. We are looking to learn from other industries that have a long experience in safety science and error reduction. We are partnering with experts from the Canadian Patient Safety Institute to teach and train our staff in patient safety techniques and tools. We will invest in systems and technologies to better understand gaps in the work we do, and will work in partnership with patients and families to redesign our processes.

Our commitment is broad, and in 2016-17 we will measure our safety improvement in three specific areas:

Keep me from becoming injured
We know that some of our patients are particularly vulnerable to falling when they come to hospital. This is often a result of the new and strange environment, or new or changed medications that may have side effects. We are going to ensure we know if patients are at increased risk for falling. We will put supports in place to ensure they don’t fall, and our staff will take steps to understand how they can better communicate with patients and families to reduce falling. We commit to reducing falls by identified at-risk patients by 10 per cent.

Keep me safe from hospital infections
One area in which we know we need to strive to excel is how we prevent the spread of infection. St. Michael’s has an excellent track record in managing and preventing hospital-acquired infections. This year, we will once again make washing our hands the way in which we publically commit and demonstrate to you that preventing any infection while you are in our care is a priority. We will measure this progress by auditing how our staff washes their hands before they come to the patient bedside. We will increase our hand hygiene rates by 5 per cent in the four intensive care units where patients are most vulnerable.

Keep me safe by ensuring my health-care team knows my medication list
Moving through the health-care system is challenging. There are many players that patients interact with as they engage with hospital specialists, their family doctor and others. Our teams need to ensure that they understand the medications patients are taking and why they need them. The teams also need to ensure patients receive the right medications while in our care, and that other members of their broader care team know of any medication changes once patients leave the hospital.

Our health-care providers have been focusing on new ways to capture patients’ medication history to ensure they can share this information clearly with patients and their broader health-care team. We are designing a new electronic tool to help our doctors, nurses and pharmacists’ record what patients tell us is on their medication list, allowing others on the team to update it consistently. We will measure this success by ensuring that more than 73 per cent of our patients have a complete medication history on admission.