Current definitions of patient safety
Patient Safety: The pursuit of the reduction and mitigation of unsafe acts within the health care system, as well as the use of best practices shown to lead to optimal patient outcomes (Canadian Patient Safety Institute).
Patient Safety: The freedom from accidental injury; ensuring patient safety involves the establishment of operational systems and processes that minimize the likelihood of errors and maximizes the likelihood of intercepting them (Institute of Medicine).
How are we doing so far?
Medavie EMS strives to provide patient care that is accessible, reliable, competent and accountable. This goal would only be achievable within an organization that supports patient care with a strong patient safety framework. As an organization Medavie EMS interacts with and transports more than 250,000 patients per year and travels more than 20,000,000 kilometers per year under ever changing conditions and environments. The risk of an adverse event or a near miss is ever present.
The following represents our efforts to date in developing a culture of patient safety within our organization:
- We have identified Patient Safety as a strategic goal
- We have delegated focused resources to the task
- We have edited all position descriptions in the organization to reflect the role and expectations of everyone in the organization in patient safety
- We continue to evaluate and identify of high risk activities
- We have conducted organization wide staff surveys to obtain opinions from our staff
- We are considering implementing an organization wide electronic adverse event & near miss reporting system (work in progress)
- We are currently developing an organization wide patient safety plan (currently in development)
- Ongoing communication of key patient safety messages
- Patient safety issues and competencies integrated within staff continuing education activities
Within the EMS industry issues surrounding patient safety fall within a number of broad areas. Medavie EMS is committed to ongoing monitoring and evaluation of these elements to evaluate processes, and to ensure early identification and mitigation of risk.
- Infection Control
- Work Life/Workforce
- Medication management and administration
- Medical procedures and interventions
- Transport / Patient Handling
- Protection on scene
- Patient care (protocol compliance, disclosure)
- Transfer of patient care
- System issues
- Vehicle and medical equipment maintenance