October 2, 2018

Safe Practice Forum: Stories we can all learn from

Ever since the Ancient Roman times, forums have been a place to get together and exchange ideas and views, discuss, learn and possibly walk out with a completely new idea, solution or a changed opinion.

At Northern Health, the Safe Practice Forum (SPF) is a monthly meeting intended for all staff where we share patient stories.

Bill Shearer, Executive Director Transformation, Quality and Safety, says those stories can help us as an organisation provide a safer and better patient experience. Stories are sometimes drawn from our incident or feedback systems, and have been reviewed by our clinicians to identify improvements in care. These clinicians are always welcome and often present.

“The format of the SPF is that of a case presentation, where the audience is invited to participate as if they were actually managing and then reviewing the case. The content is confidential and discussion is open to all staff. This is not a passive learning experience and participation is expected and necessary,” he said.

Bill says the purpose of these discussions is to highlight areas where our patients are at risk, identify how we can improve, and show as many staff as possible the processes involved in reviewing cases and developing strategies for improving care. It is in effect, a glance behind the scenes of incident investigation.

“The SPF is a safe forum – discussion, debate and even disagreement are welcome and encouraged,” he said.

This Wednesday, 3 October from 1-2 pm at Northern Hospital Epping Lecture Theatre, the topic will be improving care at the end of life.

A decent or good death is one that is: free from avoidable distress and suffering for patients, families, and caregivers; in general accord with patients’ and families’ wishes; and reasonably consistent with clinical, cultural, and ethical standards.”

– Institute of Medicine, 1997, Approaching death: Improving care at the end of life, Washington, D.C: National Academy Press