The Government Relations arm of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute is responsible for leading change through political engagement.
Patient-led Roundtables with Ministries of Health
Together with Patients for Patient Safety Canada, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute hosted five Patient Roundtables with Provincial Ministers and Deputy Ministers of Health in Alberta, Manitoba, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. Each of these meetings aimed to strengthen the commitment from provincial and territorial governments to make care safer. The conversations focused on three policy requests: Do no harm: prevention and learning through reporting; preventing further harm: disclosure principles; and engagement of patients: as active partners for safer care.
Progress is being made on several key policy and program initiatives that were discussed during the Roundtable meetings, which include implementing the Canadian Quality and Patient Safety Framework for Health Services, sharing of best practices across jurisdictions, promoting legislation that encourages transparency in healthcare, and new measures that ensure patient involvement in policy making.
Conquer Silence is the Canadian Patient Safety Institute’s public engagement behavioural change campaign introduced on World Patient Safety Day (September 17, 2019) and launched as the theme for Canadian Patient Safety Week 2019. This year-long campaign highlights the importance of working to battle systemic silence in the healthcare system to improve patient safety.
The Canadian Patient Safety Institute is working in partnership with Patients for Patient Safety Canada to engage the public in patient safety. We want to make patient safety relevant to them, help them keep safe in the system, engage them in some of our policy asks, and help them develop a platform for patient safety.
In 2019, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute adopted a social marketing model and shifted the focus of our campaigns from awareness-based to behaviour-change, and created an evaluation model to measure behaviour changes. The Conquer Silence campaign is a year-round campaign that integrates Canadian Patient Safety Week and STOP! Clean Your Hands Day as tactical elements of the larger campaign. The overarching goal of the Conquer Silence campaign is to increase communication in the healthcare system to reduce preventable patient harm in Canada.
ConquerSilence.ca is a microsite created for public, providers and leaders to share their experiences and provide insights on what others can do to keep themselves safe in the healthcare system. The knowledge tools provided through the microsite helped to improve communication between the public, providers, and leaders to reduce patient harm. Since the launch in October 2019, two areas of focus - improving medication safety and preventing falls - have been promoted to improve communication.
An evaluation to measure behaviour changes will be conducted in November 2020.
Canadian Patient Safety Week
The Canadian Patient Safety Institute’s first public engagement campaign launched during Canadian Patient Safety Week 2019. The Conquer Silence campaign worked to battle systemic silence in the healthcare system to improve patient safety. Silence exists between patients and providers, between colleagues in healthcare facilities, between administrators in different regions, and between the public and policymakers.
We also ran our first influencer campaign to help spread the message. Doctors, nurses, healthcare aids, medical students, scientists, and media personalities shared #ConquerSilence messages during Canadian Patient Safety Week.
STOP! Clean Your Hands Day 2019
STOP! Clean Your Hands Day takes place annually on the 5th of May, to build awareness around the importance of hand hygiene to reduce preventable infections. Thousands of healthcare providers in hundreds of healthcare sites across Canada participate in this annual event in conjunction with the WHO’s SAVE LIVES: Clean Your Hands campaign. Participants are encouraged to not only have fun in promoting good hand hygiene practices, but to also focus on changing their behaviour with different tools and resources.
In a Patient Podcast, special Guest Host Jason “The Germ Guy” Tetro talked about how patients can initiate a dialogue and create a partnership with their providers on clean care. Carmen Stephens, a patient partner with Patients for Patient Safety Canada, and Davenna Conrod, a nurse with over 15 years of infection prevention and control work experience across the spectrum of healthcare, also shared their experiences in the podcast.
World Patient Safety Day
The inaugural World Patient Safety Day was declared by the World Health Organization on September 17, 2019. The slogan for the day was “Speak Up for Patient Safety”. This campaign helped to mobilize patients and their families, health workers, policy makers, academicians, researchers, professional networks, and the healthcare industry to speak up! The aim of the day is to raise awareness of the need to formulate policies, create a safe work culture, and provide care where the safety of patients is a priority.
To recognize World Patient Safety Day across Canada, in partnership with Patients for Patient Safety Canada (the Canadian arm of the WHO Patients for Patient Safety Global Network), HSO, and CAE Healthcare, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute hosted an exclusive screening of To Err is Human at the Ottawa Art Gallery and simultaneously streamed the documentary and panel discussion online.
Using the public engagement strategy and Conquer Silence campaign, along with both proactive and reactive media outreach, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute has had significant visibility in the Canadian media environment this past year. The Canadian Patient Safety Institute was mentioned over 1,300 times in print and online news articles in the 2019-2020 year, for a reach of over 422 million. In radio and on television, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute was mentioned over 1,800 times, for a reach of over 266 million, with the large majority due to a Conquer Silence Public Service Announcement (PSA).