Gear up for patient safety

October 2010   Comments

“Good healthcare starts with good communication.” That’s the message of Canadian Patient Safety Week, running Nov. 1 to 5. The Canadian Patient Safety Institute, which launched the annual event in 2005, offers the following ideas for patient-safety-related activities and events that nurses can organize at their workplaces: 

  • Prepare a display. Set up a table in a high-traffic area, with posters, handouts and promotional items.

  • Host a movie break. Show short educational videos to staff or patients. Don’t forget the popcorn!

  • Set up a “room of horrors.” Invite staff, patients and visitors to identify the errors and risks in a simulated patient room.

  • Play games or give quizzes. Offer prizes to encourage participation.

  • Organize brown-bag lunch sessions. Invite guest speakers to give brief presentations on patient safety. Cover a different topic each day of the week.

  • Demonstrate proper handwashing techniques. Bring attention to all the handwashing stations around your site.

  • Invite patients and family members to ask questions. Ask them questions first, such as “Do you know why you’re taking this medication?”

  • Create awareness about patient safety initiatives at your site. The staff may know about them, but do the patients?

To register your organization, order promotional items or download videos, games and quizzes — or just learn more about Canadian Patient Safety Week — visit

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