Ward 3: Executive Patient Safety Walk Arounds
Executive Patient Safety Walk Arounds (EPSWA) were re-introduced at Northern Health in 2016 to help identify at risk environments and since the re-introduction, the program has undergone a number of evaluations and subsequent improvements.
“The objectives of the program are to improve patient safety at Northern Health through linking patient safety activities with the Northern Health Executive. This will create opportunities for staff to discuss patient safety issues with the highest level of management, and to escalate and action areas for increasing satisfaction and safety for our staff, patients and visitors,” Donna Christensen, Director Quality and Service Improvement, explained.
The current walk arounds take a Division approach, where a whole Division is reviewed by a minimum of six executives. There are EPSWAs scheduled monthly between February and November.
“There were a number of highlights from the August EPSWAs, including feedback from staff stating how much they enjoy working in their areas, effective utilisation of space and positive patient/family experience stories,” Donna said.
Ward 3 is the EPSWA area of the month where excellence in patient and staff safety were observed by the Executive.
“Some of the highlights include 70 per cent of staff chemotherapy trained, 96 per cent hand hygiene compliant and 97 per cent flu vaccinated. The patient and family feedback board initiative was implemented and the safety round initiative completed at the end of each shift,” Donna said.
Samantha Soggee, Ward 3 Nurse Unit Manager, said the patient and family feedback board was created to highlight positive feedback that ward staff receive from patients and families.
“It promotes what we are doing as a team, as well as other types of feedback we get. We created a template in case we have issues raised. For example, someone said they would like more information on different types of cancer, so in the template we explained what we are going to do and how. We’ve provided a booklet and met that need,” she said.
Another example of improvements include adding replacement of carpet to maintenance schedule to improve patient flow, new agreed ward rounds were developed to prevent ad-hoc medical rounding, and ISS were involved to help increase access to soft food.
Samantha said EPSWAs do make a difference, as it was identified that there is a need for these kinds of boards during one of the rounds.
“We had a board before, but it didn’t look like this. After the EPSWA, we’ve developed it. All our staff participated and helped develop the board,” Samantha said.
Tracey Webster, Quality Coordinator Cancer Services, said the team wanted the patients to feel really valued and see their feedback is taken seriously.
“The new management of Ward 3 and me are focused on the culture which promotes the importance of feedback and communicating what we do with that feedback. For example, once we got the feedback on outdated cancer brochures, and after we developed new ones, we identified that we need a way to say thank you to patients who took their time to give that feedback and display it publicly,” she said.