Medavie EMS Ontario
Commitment to Patient Safety
The safe delivery of healthcare in today’s landscape poses formidable concern and challenges in terms of an aging population, increasing acuity and co-morbidities, diminishing health care resources and ever changing treatment innovations and technology. At the forefront is the realization that a patient who enters the health care system may suffer untoward injury or further illness as a result of their care. Such events have caused temporary and permanent disability, extended hospital stay and in rare cases death. Many of these events are preventable. The patients treated and transported by EMS are not exempt from such events, and one may argue are faced with further perils as a result of care provided within an unpredictable and often uncontrollable environment. Medavie EMS Ontario has recognized and embraced patient safety as a priority and is reflected as such within our corporate values and strategic planning.
The need for formal processes and frameworks has only recently arrived on the horizon of Canadian health care systems. Until recently one would have difficulty obtaining a consistent description of what patient safety actually means. The description would vary by profession, department and province and has rarely been acknowledged as a system issue.
Current Definitions of Patient Safety
Patient Safety: The pursuit of the reduction and mitigation of unsafe acts within the health care system, as well as the use of best practices shown to lead to optimal patient outcomes (Canadian Patient Safety Institute).
Patient Safety: The freedom from accidental injury; ensuring patient safety involves the establishment of operational systems and processes that minimize the likelihood of errors and maximizes the likelihood of intercepting them (Institute of Medicine).
How are we doing so far?
Within the EMS industry issues surrounding patient safety fall within a number of broad areas. Medavie EMS Ontario is committed to ongoing monitoring and evaluation of these elements to evaluate processes, and to ensure early identification and mitigation of risk.