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About Sickkids
About SickKids

October 10, 2018

SickKids and UHN recognized by International Hospital Federation for excellence in patient safety leadership

“Caring Safely - a joint SickKids and UHN collaboration to prevent harm and promote patient and staff safety” has been selected as a Merit Awardee of the International Hospital Federation (IHF) Excellence Award for Leadership and Management in Healthcare. The award, presented on Wednesday, Oct. 10, in Brisbane, Australia honours innovations and outstanding achievements in the health-care sector.

Caring Safely is an ambitious patient and staff safety initiative that has had significant impact in making care better and safer at both The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) and University Health Network (UHN), while also improving workplace safety. One of the unique aspects of the Caring Safely initiative has been the focus on high reliability principles and leadership methods to support the safety culture transformation taking place at both health care centres.

Both SickKids and UHN have invested heavily in leader and staff training aimed specifically at reducing rates of serious patient and staff safety events. SickKids has delivered error-prevention training to more than 90 per cent of its staff and UHN has delivered it to more than 77 per cent of its staff. At SickKids, over 450 people leaders have been trained in leadership methods to support a culture of safety and at UHN, 84 per cent of leaders have been trained. A fleet of 300 specially trained peer safety coaches deployed throughout SickKids reinforces the use of error prevention methods with staff on a daily basis.

"Seeing the pride that our staff take in building safer, more reliable routines and behaviours every day has been the most rewarding aspect of this initiative," says Dr. Trey Coffey, the SickKids Medical Officer for Patient Safety and recently appointed Associate Clinical Director of the Children’s Hospitals Solutions for Patient Safety Network.

From the start of the initiative in 2015, both SickKids and UHN recognized that Caring Safely needed to  be built for sustainability and embedded into all levels of each organization. Starting with our highest level of leadership and governance, both organizations invested in providing education for their Board of Trustees in governance for safety, safety culture, and patient/family engagement.

“It is an honour to receive this recognition in partnership with SickKids. The priority that our two hospitals have placed on patient and workplace safety has had a positive impact in decreasing preventable harm, and the active engagement of our leaders, physicians and staff will ensure our current momentum is maintained. The journey to safety is a marathon rather than a sprint, but we are well on our way,” says Emily Musing, Vice President, Quality and Safety, UHN.

Learn more about the Caring Safely initiative at SickKids in our recent progress report and see recent UHN stories on the progress of the initiative.