Canadian Patient Safety Week, Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, is a time for people to share their stories about harm done to them or their loved ones in health care settings such as hospitals and long-term care facilities. (Pixabay)

#ConquerSilence and help save lives by sharing stories about patient safety

Canadian Patient Safety Week encourages people talk about health care issues and solutions

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute says 28,000 Canadians die from preventable health care harm each year, and silence is a major contributor.

Canadian Patient Safety Week, Oct. 28 to Nov. 1, is a time for people to share their stories about harm done to them or their loved ones in health care settings such as hospitals and long-term care facilities, in the name of improving service provision and reducing unnecessary harm.

Patient Safety Week is an awareness campaign started in 2005 by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI). The CPSI said one in three Canadians has had patient harm affect themselves or a loved one. The theme this year is Conquer Silence, encouraging patients and health-care professionals alike to share their experiences.

Director of Patient Safety for the Island Health, Ainsley Young, said Patient Safety Week is a time to celebrate the work being done in care facilities across Vancouver Island to improve safety for patients. She said Island Health has been working on safety issues such as reducing falls in care and negative reactions to medications.

READ ALSO: Hospital pay parking revenue in B.C. topped $36M last fiscal

Island Health kicked off the week on Monday with an open mic attended across the Island by video conference, inviting all staff and physicians to meet with leaders from the Department of Quality and Patient Safety within Island Health to share experiences, ask questions, and provide updates on work happening organizationally.

“It’s that commitment we always have to learning, making improvements, and taking care of our patients,” Young said. “We’re really committed to patient-centred care and we can only do that if staff, the public, patients and caregivers speak up.”

READ ALSO: Overworked and understaffed: More than 300 vacancies in Vancouver Island nursing

People can anonymously share stories of health care harm or share advice to help prevent harm to others at conquersilence.ca where others’ stories are also told.

For more ways to get involved in Canadian Patient Safety Week, use the hashtag #ConquerSilence on Twitter, share your story with CPSI on Facebook, or email cpsw@cpsi-icsp.ca with specific questions.

For more information about patient safety and Patient Safety Week, visit CPSI’s website.

sophie.heizer@saanichnews.com


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