New microsite promotes MUHC culture of accountability and transparency, aims to improve patient safety

Patient Safety and Quality microsite reveals data on incidents, accidents, ED and elective surgery wait times at MUHC hospitals
Montreal, Thursday, November 3, 2011 - To promote and extend patient safety and continuous quality improvement, the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) today launched a user-friendly Web microsite designed to inform patients about its safety processes and initiatives. The microsite also includes key quality indicators that track the number of reported incidents and accidents at the hospitals, as well as access indicators for emergency departments and planned surgery.
“The MUHC is proud of the leadership role it plays in developing best practices because a system such as health care evolves apace of new knowledge and thus requires constant patient-safety and quality initiatives, not to mention vigilance,” underscores the Hon. Arthur T. Porter, MUHC Director General and Chief Executive Officer. “That is why we’re increasing the collection, measurement and analysis of data and launching the MUHC Patient Safety and Quality microsite. I commend our professionals for taking the time to present complicated information with as much clarity as possible because patients can’t be at the centre of care if you don’t involve them. This microsite will engage our patients.”
Designed to be user-friendly and written in language that patients and members of the public can easily understand, the microsite will evolve and become more detailed over time. Moreover, the information about safety and accessibility of care in the microsite was selected based on what patients want to know.
“As patients, we need to be proactive in our own healing. This new microsite gives us information we need to make positive changes at our hospitals,” notes Maria Mastracchio-Lafontaine, a member of the MUHC Board of Directors who represents the patient population and a co-chair of the MUHC User’s Committee. “One way to be proactive is to help shape the MUHC’s quality and safety processes. After I had gone to several committee meetings and talked about things I wanted to see changed, I realized people were listening. At the MUHC, all levels of the organization are engaged in quality initiatives, from front-line staff and support personnel to the Board of Directors. This creates an environment that encourages continuous improvement.”
“We are doing everything we can to nurture the culture of patient safety, quality and continuous improvement through accountability and transparency,” says Patricia Lefebvre, MUHC Director of Quality, Patient Safety and Performance. “Gathering and sharing information is an area of strength for the MUHC, which has maintained an in-house register of incidents and accidents since 1994. This microsite builds on our leadership history by adding another dimension of information sharing with our community, which it is why it’s particularly appropriate that it is being launched during National Patient Safety Week.”
Incident reporting increases our knowledge and shapes best practices
While the information on the Patient Safety and Quality microsite is designed to be easily accessible, it has to be understood in context. For example, the number of reported incidents — undesirable events that have no impact on patients — and accidents has increased in the last three years. Does this signal a negative trend? Quite the contrary, continues Lefebvre. “The more incidents reported, the more we learn and have at our disposal to improve the quality and safety of health care.”
“At the MUHC, we work hard to foster a culture of reporting,” she adds. “This culture is essential to continuous-improvement initiatives. To ensure this culture flourishes, we are constantly training our teams to report any incident immediately, no matter how insignificant. The more reports we receive, the more we can be proactive in shaping best practices, which is part of what a leading academic health centre does.”
While data on incidents and accidents are an important component of quality improvement and help identify trends within an organization, they are not useful when making comparisons between different hospitals. The culture of reporting, patient volumes, complexity of care and clientele found in hospitals are very different from one institution to the next. This makes such comparisons unreliable. “We’re publishing this data to inform and involve members of our community in our safety and quality initiatives, concludes the Hon. Arthur T. Porter. “The ultimate goal is to constantly improve the quality and safety of care we offer our patients.”
To access the site, click here:
About the McGill University Health Centre (MUHC) One of the world’s foremost academic health centres, the MUHC offers exceptional and integrated patient-centric care, research teaching and technology assessment. Highly committed to the continuum of care in its community and affiliated with the Faculty of Medicine of McGill University, The Montreal Children's Hospital, the Montreal General Hospital, the Royal Victoria Hospital, the Montreal Neurological Hospital, the Montreal Chest Institute and the Lachine Hospital of the MUHC value multidisciplinary service throughout the lifespan, innovative technologies and practices, strategic partnerships and leadership in knowledge transfer. The MUHC is currently carrying out a $2.25-billion Redevelopment Project on three campuses—the Mountain, the Glen and Lachine—designed to provide healthcare professionals with an effective environment in which to ensure patients and their families benefit from The Best Care for Life. The campuses are also anchored in best sustainable-development practices, including LEED® and BOMA BESt guidelines. http://www.muhc.ca_/

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