Jul 30, 2019

Summer 2019 enews: Leadership Perspectives

As Saegis approaches its two-year anniversary, two of our leaders, Margaret Hanlon-Bell, CEO, and Dr. Tom Lloyd, Director of the Saegis Safety Institute, reflect on why the CMPA created Saegis, where our efforts are focused, and new programs in the making.

Margaret, on the launch of Saegis …

CMPA research showed that there was a greater need in the healthcare space for multidisciplinary, team- and institution-focused programs for reducing risk and improving outcomes for both patients and healthcare professionals.

Saegis was formed to meet that need. The mission of Saegis is to make a difference in healthcare provider and patient experience through professional development, quality improvement, and practice management solutions.

Margaret, on what makes Saegis’ programs unique…

We have been able to leverage some of the work that the CMPA has done with physicians over the years to provide complementary programs to multidisciplinary teams. We looked at the medical-legal risks from a team perspective and applied what we learned in planning program development. In essence, knowledge of what constitutes a culture of safety and communication are key to improving patient safety. So, the core areas we focus on are teamwork, changing culture and communication, including disclosure of adverse events.

Our SafeOR program is unique in that it is an educational program built and delivered by front line providers, and aimed at increasing awareness around human factor elements in the operating room. By combining the experience of operating room providers and science of human factors theory with innovative technology (OR Black Box®), SafeOR facilitates learning on key themes including: teamwork and communication, decision making, situation awareness, distractions, and many other elements that create lasting improvements in the safety, efficiency, and culture of hospital operating rooms.

Another area we focus on is practice management. We are helping individual clinics both large and small, improve their safety for both patients and healthcare staff.  . One of the first products we are launching is a cybersecurity solution, as many clinics have expressed the need for solutions to deal with these types of threats in the healthcare context. The solution will provide small and medium-size clinics with cybersecurity and privacy education.

Tom, on how Saegis’ patient safety program offerings are chosen…

What is important to understand is that we are not trying to reinvent the wheel here. There are some great courses and interventions from around the world and within Canada that we are leveraging. For example, we partnered with the University of Toronto on an opioid-prescribing educational session that we are spreading across the country.

We partnered with Outcome Engenuity, to bring to Canada a well validated & effective program on Just Culture. We identified a communication program with some great results that has been running for many years in Australia, the U.K. and other jurisdictions, so we partnered with the Cognitive Institute and Medical Protection Society to bring the Clinical Communication Program to Canada to fill that need here.

In terms of engagement, we look at trends from CMPA data, review the literature, and have thoughtful discussions with colleges and hospitals to identify the gaps. Then we put together meaningful interventions that are going to drive change. When we can get people from different disciplines within the same organization talking the same language, looking at barriers and strategies to overcome these barriers we have a much better chance of driving cultural change.

Margaret and Tom on “Aha!” moments in patient safety…

Margaret: Improving the culture within an institution will lead to improved outcomes for all. Saegis’ product offering, addresses this as it is designed to reduce risk by helping to improve knowledge, communication and culture—that is very exciting.

Tom: I trained in surgery in the U.K. and have worked in the medical-legal field for about 12 years—I’ve seen medical-legal and patient safety events. Whether it’s here in Canada, across the U.K., Ireland, South Africa or the Far East, it’s basically the same issues at the root of the problem: communication and culture. You have an individual responsibility as a clinician, but the environment you work in has a big impact. When I think about just culture, if you can institute that, you can transform the way that a unit, a department, or even an organization operates. The surrounding culture is so important if you’re really going to push a healthy attitude toward patient safety and make things right for both staff and patients.

Parting thoughts

Tom: The message I would like to leave with physicians and healthcare providers is the value of teamwork, communication, and culture and how that can have a significant impact on their ability to practice safely. If you can develop skills and knowledge in these areas, you can make a difference for patient safety.

Margaret: I would encourage those in healthcare to visit our website and engage with us. Let’s see what we can do to partner with you and help you achieve your goals in professional development, institutional culture, and practice management.

This interview was originally conducted and published by The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) as part of its #SuperSHIFTER series. We sincerely thank CPSI for their interest and support.

For general questions or inquiries

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