Building a culture of safety at the MCH

The Montreal Children's Hospital (MCH) introduces a new program to improve patient safety. "Mission: Safety" pursues this essential goal: preventing and reducing safety events in the delivery of healthcare services.

Establishing a safety culture where individuals can confidently report safety issues without fear of blame or judgement is an important part of this program. It also focuses on an institutional commitment to continuous quality improvement through safety event review, analysis and sharing of actionable findings related to patient safety.

To achieve these goals, a Patient Safety Advisory Committee chaired by Dr. Samara Zavalkoff, the MCH’s inaugural medical director of Patient Safety, Alexandra Black, Safety co-lead, and Jordana Saada, interim Safety co-lead, was formed in June 2021. Since then, the safety program has led many activities to promote a culture of safety at the MCH:

  • Several awareness and educational events took place at the hospital as part of Canadian Patient Safety Week, from October 24 to 28, 2022
  • Monthly safety lunch and learns for staff occur online until June 29, 2023
  • A first monthly newsletter highlighting the latest updates, resources and events regarding quality improvement and patient safety was sent out to staff in April 2023
  • A MCH Safety Guide was developed to support teams and professionals when a safety event has occurred in their care area

In addition, "Mission: Safety" aims to:

1. Establish a singular structure to review, analyze and address all safety events at the MCH

2. Support implementation of key safety initiatives such as:

  • Pediatric Early Warning Score (PEWS) to objectively identify patients at risk of deteriorating and escalate to appropriate resources in a timely fashion
  • Difficult intravenous access (DIVA) project to establish a hospital wide process to identify and obtain IV access when needed while minimizing patient pokes

3. Identify and track safety key performance indicators

4. Join the international collaborative Solutions for Patient Safety that supports pediatric hospitals to be leaders in patient safety and implement solutions to common safety problems.

The entire MCH community is called upon to contribute to these objectives to improve patient safety and the culture of safety. Because safety is everyone's business!