Island Health is committed to providing the safest health care possible – for patients and for care providers. This means we are concerned with everything from clean hands to the best use of antibiotics.
Staff and physicians in Island Health are always looking for ways we can improve patient care. By analyzing current care practices and past experience, and identifying potential problems before they happen, we work toward providing the highest level of quality and patient safety.
See below to learn more about some of the ways we work to keep patients safe.
Preventing and controlling infections is a responsibility shared by every staff member, care provider, patient and visitor. Infections like influenza and norovirus can spread quickly, affecting individuals, families and entire communities. By working together, keeping informed on best practices and doing everything we can to prevent infections before they happen—and to control their spread if they do—we all play a part in keeping each other safe.
Island Health’s Infection Prevention and Control Program shares accountability for preventing infections with clinical programs and units. Infection control practitioners support facilities and teams with expert advice, collaboration on managing outbreaks and tracking infection rates, and building expertise amongst staff and care providers through education and consultations.
Medications can be valuable tools for treating illness, but they can also present risks. In fact, in a national study of adverse events in the health system, drug and fluid-related events were the second most common type of patient safety incident. Island Health staff and providers are committed to using medications safely. This means making sure patients are getting the right medications, in the right amount, at the right time. It means having effective systems for storing, prescribing and dispensing medications to reduce the chance of errors. And it means building awareness about issues like antibiotic resistance, and making sure patients are well-informed on the risks and benefits of their medication treatment options.
Sometimes mistakes happen. When they do, we are committed to finding out why and what can be done to prevent them from happening again. Island Health has a number of systems in place to address what are often called “adverse events,” including systems for reporting events or near-misses, and for carrying out comprehensive reviews of patient safety events, as well as tools to prevent incidents before they happen.