The Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety’s grants are named in honour of Dr. John G. Wade. The University of Manitoba medical school graduate is internationally recognized for his pioneering work in patient safety and is described as the “Father of Patient Safety in Canada.” His leadership led to the creation of both the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety. The Dr. John Wade Patient Safety Initiatives Grant funds projects that support patient safety initiatives in Manitoba.
Created in 2004, the Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety promotes, coordinates and facilitates activities that have a positive impact on patient safety throughout Manitoba while enhancing the quality of healthcare for Manitobans. The Institute’s patient safety initiatives like It’s Safe To Ask have been replicated across Canada and internationally. To date they have contributed over $209,300.00 to projects that focus on patient safety.
Patient safety can be defined as activities that caregivers, patients and families engage in to prevent harm to patients and work towards providing the safest possible care. Examples are disclosing when things go wrong, studying patient incidents to find ways to prevent them, apologizing, creating standard procedures such as checklists, and creating cultures that are open to patient and caregiver team input.
The most common contributor to medication errors in the Acute Care Inpatient Unit (ACIU) serving the Northern Health Region are frequent interruptions in the administration and delivery process of medications to patients.
Vera Comerford, a registered nurse and graduate student, examined the root causes of medication errors in the ACIU. Working with the ACIU team, Comerford introduced a new medication dispensing process that reduces distraction and interruptions.
Dr. John Wade Patient Safety Initiatives Grant funds were used to introduce individual medication dispensing carts so that dispensing and administration of medications both happen at a patient’s bedside rather than starting at a central location used by multiple healthcare providers at the same time. Prominent signage and staff education strengthen and reinforce the new dispensing process.
Brandon Regional Health Centre’s (BRHC) Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program was introduced in the spring of 2019 to deliver evidence-based practices to improve patient outcomes in the areas of patient experience, complication rates, length of hospital stay, and hospital readmissions.
BRHC’s Peter Loeppky, Care Team Manager, and Jessica Brunskill, Clinical Educator, used the Dr. John Wade Patient Safety Initiatives Grant funds to purchase ERAS patient engagement kits containing information and tools to help patients understand how they can prepare and optimize themselves for surgery. Specifically, the kits encourage patients to get adequate nutrition, hydration, activity, and know their medication. Patients are empowered with knowledge of what to expect after their surgery, for example, when they can expect their foley catheter to be removed, or when they will be getting up to walk around.
Since the patient engagement kits were introduced in January 2020, numerous patients have followed the pathway with great success. Data from elective colorectal surgeries show a reduced length of hospital stay with no increase in readmissions or complications. Evaluation of the program continues with a patient experience questionnaire and the successful program is expected to become a permanent part of the ERAS protocol.
MIPS’ Patient Safety Champion Award celebrates someone who
This year’s recipient is Maxine Zasitko, Clinical Team Manager, Public Health, Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority. Zasitko is recognized for leading the first ever Interlake-Eastern RHA harm reduction approach to substance use with the distribution of naloxone overdose prevention kits, new needle kits and safer smoking kits in the region. Zasitko is celebrated for her passion for harm reduction and her advocacy for marginalized people and those impacted by problematic substance use.