Speak up for safety today, and every day
Today, Northern Health celebrated Speaking Up For Safety (SUFS) Day.
In partnership with the Cognitive Institute, Northern Health launched the SUFS program last year to enhance the physical and psychological safety of patients and staff. The program consists of one-hour workshops to equip staff with the skills and confidence to escalate concerns around patient safety and/or staff safety with assertiveness and respect.
Over the past few months, each division has had the opportunity to attend a SUFS session. During these sessions, staff are educated on the Safety CODE (Checks, Options, Demands, Elevates) – a proactive tool that enables staff to speak up before mistakes happen to prevent unintended harm to patients and/or staff.
Staff are encouraged to use the Safety CODE at every team meeting, clinical handover, huddle, shift commencement and conclusion, ward walk-around and at every critical moment.
Michelle Fenwick, Executive Director, People and Culture, said the ability to speak up for safety is one of the most valuable resources we have to prevent errors of commission or omission, and to build a culture where speaking up, checking and being checked for safety is normalised and welcomed.
“I am proud that our organisation is actively working to improve the safety of patient care and a positive, safe workplace culture. I thank you for your support as we enter a new era of safety at Northern Health,” she said.
Bianca Fazzari, People Experience Business Partner, People and Culture, said, “creating a culture of safety where staff feel empowered and comfortable to raise concerns is essential at Northern Health.”
“The Safety CODE is a proactive tool that enables staff to speak up before mistakes happen to prevent unintended harm to patients and/or staff.
To celebrate SUFS Day, staff have been provided SUFS stickers. Staff are encouraged to wear the stickers on their name badges to symbolise openness and willingness to listen and respond effectively when others speak up for safety. SUFS cookies have also been distributed to staff today as a way to celebrate success in managing safety concerns and also discuss new ways to promote safety within teams.
For more information on SUFS, including how to attend a SUFS session, visit the Intranet.
Featured image: Maternity staff with SUFS cookies