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Baycrest enhances patient safety with new portal

By Amanda Paterson

Patient safetyTORONTO – Baycrest Health Sciences has launched a Patient Safety Portal – a central web-based access point to collect, analyze and learn from patient safety incidents. The portal is hosted on Microsoft SharePoint and draws data from both Meditech and the Safety Event Reporting System (SERS).

Marie Jane Lopez Torres, R.N. (centre) navigates the Patient Safety Portal with hands-on training from Andrew Pigou (left) and Shadan Fallahi (right).

One of the main barriers to enhancing patient safety is the failure to learn from safety incidents. Historically, management teams have had access to safety data, but that information has not been accessible by all those involved in client care. Now Baycrest’s direct care staff can access vital safety data in real-time.

“This new access to safety information is empowering for direct care staff,” says Andrew Pigou, manager, informatics and PMO, eHealth. “With this transparent approach, clinical leaders can now deliberate on important patient safety issues with live data at their fingertips, to direct the focus of their conversations and guide next steps.”

Built to meet Baycrest’s unique needs as a long-term care facility and complex continuing care hospital, the technology enables staff to compare and analyze incidents by rate, type and location within the organization.

“We recognized that client safety involves every staff member here. Our goal was to create a one-stop shop in which all staff can access real-time safety information,” says Shadan Fallahi, patient safety officer and risk manager.

“By making all those involved in point of care better informed about incidents and the best strategies to mitigate future incidents, we can make each patient experience a safer one.”

Since its launch in early September, the portal has received more than 3,000 visits, indicating that many direct care providers are eager to access current safety data.

“We acknowledge that in a healthcare environment, there is inherent risk. We can mitigate that risk by enabling all staff to confront safety issues head on,” says Fallahi.

Features of the Patient Safety Portal:

• Easy-to-understand graphs and charts populated with real-time safety data.

• Recent case studies and recommendations based on actual and potential patient safety incidents.

• External resources including ISMP Medication Safety Alerts, annual recommendations from the Geriatric and Long Term Care Review Committee from the Office of the Chief Coroner and information on the most recent hazard alerts, product recalls and product notifications.

• Client safety stories shared by clients, staff, volunteers and students to illustrate patient safety experiences, helping staff connect real patients to the safety data being monitored.

Moving forward, the team plans to enhance the portal’s function by allowing comments, interpretation and action planning with a new interactive workflow process.

Amanda Paterson is a communications specialist at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto.

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