Hospital Celebrates Patient Safety Week

Make sure to ask these 5 questions about your medications when you see your healthcare provider.

Preventable adverse events and medical errors affect the health of more Canadians each year than breast cancer, motor vehicle accidents and AIDS combined. In fact, one out of 18 hospital visits results in preventable harm or even death.

Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre is proud to take part in Canadian Patient Safety Week 2017 (October 30- November 3). Along with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), we’re spreading the mission of “ASK.LISTEN.TALK” in order to raise awareness of patient safety issues and solutions. Our Hospital has helped CPSI achieve its mission of providing extraordinary improvement in patient safety. Together, we are celebrating the patients, families, and providers who make health care safer in Canada.

Miscommunication about medication can hurt you or your loved one. That’s why CPSI’s Canadian Patient Safety Week 2017 is focused on the “Take With Questions” campaign in order to encourage patients and remind health care professionals what life-saving questions we should all ask about our medications. Use the five life-saving questions to give and take medication without harmful consequences:

  1. Changes – have my medications changed?
  2. Continue – what medications do I need to keep taking, and why?
  3. Proper Use – how do I take my medications?
  4. Monitor – what side effects do I monitor for?
  5. Follow-up – when should I come in for a follow up

“Providing safe and quality care is a top priority at our hospital,” says Dr. Gordon Porter, Chief of Staff. “One of the ways patients can keep themselves safe is to ensure they have an up to date list of all of their medications with them when they come to the Hospital. An accurate and up-to-date list is the next best thing. It is important to include all vitamins and over the counter medication or herbs as they can interact with other medications. Help us keep you safe by being a partner in your health care.”

Our Hospital’s Safety and Quality Program focuses on measuring our performance in various areas and developing action plans to improve the quality of care for patients and their families. “Various resources have been developed to support medication safety and we continuously seek new safety initiatives and strengthen existing measures to keep patients safe” says Cathy Covino, Senior Director of Quality and Risk Management. “The focus on five questions to ask about your medications is important. This is a clear example of partnering with patients to provide the safest health care possible. Collaborating ensures medications are clearly communicated on every visit to the hospital and asking the five questions ensure patients understand the answers on every discharge.”

“Quality and safety is the moral fabric of all health care providers. Our hospital has committed to enhancing quality and safety by standardizing care based on evidence through the implementation of digital order sets. Digital order sets are approved and assigned by a physician and used by clinicians and guide standard procedures and patient care plans from admission to discharge and include steps for care such as the types of medical tests and diagnostics required, or medications to be prescribed. The proven outcomes will be less medical errors, including medication errors. This is not only a quality and safety improvement, but aligns to our commitment to Patient and Family Centred Care” says Dr. Gordon Porter.

From October 30- November 3 there will be a display at our Hospital where you can learn more about the Canadian Patient Safety Week and the importance of medication safety. You can also learn more about the five life-saving questions you need to be asking your health care specialists by following #asklistentalk on twitter or by visiting the ‘Take With Questions’ campaign at