WINNIPEG, MB –/COMMUNITYWIRE/– The Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety (MIPS) is proud to recognize the patient safety accomplishments of this year’s Dr. John Wade Patient Safety Initiatives Grant recipients and the Patient Safety Champion Award winner.
When Vera Comerford discovered a root cause of medication errors on the Acute Care Inpatient Unit (ACIU) serving the Northern Health Region, she used the MIPS grant to change the team’s approach to medication dispensing.
“My research found that frequent interruptions in the medication dispensing process for the ACIU is contributing to medication errors,” said Comerford. “We identified some changes that could really make a difference for our patients and healthcare providers.”
The grant money from MIPS allows the ACIU to implement a new medication dispensing process that happens at a patient’s bedside. This approach reduces the distractions of dispensing medications in a room frequently used by multiple healthcare providers.
“Teamwork and communication are strongly tied to improving patient safety,” said Laurie Thompson, Executive Director of MIPS. “Vera’s project shows that analysis of processes and relatively straightforward problem-solving across a healthcare team can make a big difference for patient safety.”
Patient empowerment is the cornerstone of MIPS’ second award recipients, Peter Loeppky and Jessica Brunskill of Brandon Regional Health Centre’s Enhanced Recovery After Surgery (ERAS) program. Loeppky and Brunskill focused their efforts on educating and preparing patients before colorectal surgery to ease their clinical pathway and improve their health outcomes.
“The grant money we received from MIPS allowed ERAS to provide colorectal surgery patients with enhanced education materials that encourage them to have an active role in their surgical optimization and recovery,” said Loeppky. “Since the protocols were introduced, numerous patients have followed the pathway with great success. Data from all elective colorectal surgeries since January 2020 show a reduced length of hospital stay with no increase in readmissions or complications.”
“Patient engagement is essential to making our health care system safer,” said Thompson. “We know that patients must be active members of their healthcare team and Peter and Jessica’s project is an excellent example of patient engagement in action.”
This year’s Patient Safety Champion Award goes to Maxine Zasitko, Clinical Team Manager for Public Health, Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority (IERHA) for her tireless efforts to implement a 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 was nominated for the award by IERHA’s Heather Campbell, Quality and Patient Safety Coordinator, with the support of Shannon Montgomery, Regional Director for Public Health.
“Maxine is a strong advocate for eliminating stigma and racism which create significant barriers for our clients to access services across the system,” said Montgomery. “We are proud of Maxine and her meaningful contributions to patient safety and client experience and so we want to celebrate her hard work, passion and dedication.”
“Maxine’s patient-centred approach to care is a cornerstone of patient safety,” said Thompson. “Reducing stigma and systemic barriers ensures that all Manitoban’s have a chance to safeguard and improve their health and well-being.”
“Congratulations to the Dr. John Wade Grant winners and to this year’s Patient Safety Champion. The impact of your dedication and compassion on patient safety in Manitoba cannot be understated.”
The Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety (MIPS) is an independent non-profit organization created in 2004 in response to recommendations made by the Manitoba Patient Safety Steering Committee. MIPS is committed to supporting health care organizations and providers to improve patient safety and to empowering patients and families to be engaged with their health care team.
For photos of the winners and additional information on the Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety, visit:
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Media Contact: Laurie Thompson – Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety – 204-927-6470