August 30, 2018

Bill Shearer: Trusted care to our community

High Reliability Organisations are those which maintain a high level of safety in dangerous and complex environments.  In 2017, Northern Health began a journey towards becoming a High Reliability Organisation in partnership with Johns Hopkins Health. This has allowed us to learn from the experience of one of the top three hospitals in the world and adapt that experience and knowledge for Northern Health.

Through this partnership, we are able to examine the way we currently work through the lens of High Reliability, which has led  us to design and begin to implement significant and sometimes dramatic changes.  These changes have been built around the concept of delivering trusted care to our community.

We understand that trusted care is safe, patient-centred, clinically excellent and operationally efficient care. This care is delivered by high functioning teams in an organisation which has a culture that fosters trust both within the health service and from the community we serve.

Johns Hopkins has described some basic tools for delivering High Reliability in healthcare, including the deployment of Comprehensive Unit Based Safety Programs to maximise the safety of our patients, and the use of Clinical Communities to solve the most complex and difficult of clinical problems. We have adapted and extended these to include the concept of the enabled healthcare worker.

The enabled healthcare worker is everyone of us. This healthcare worker has knowledge about safety in hospitals and the workplace, knows how to talk to patients with respect and kindness and is passionate about investigating new ways of improving healthcare.

We are all capable of being a champion of safety.

Over the coming weeks and months, you will hear about the projects we are commencing and how you can become involved.

Bill Shearer

Executive Director, Executive Director Transformation Quality & Safety