To highlight Canadian Patient Safety Week, on October 27, more than 350 health care administrators, patients, safety and policy experts learned about the new Health Standards Organization (HSO) Workforce Survey on Well-Being, Quality and Safety™. A panel of health leaders shared how this evidence-based tool was co-designed and implemented to improve safety conversations in organizations and across health systems to advance safer care.

Heather Campbell, Quality and Patient Safety Coordinator at Interlake-Eastern Regional Health Authority and Surrya Anjum, Manager of People Services at Northwoodcare Inc., shared their observations and lessons as early adopters using the new HSO Workforce Survey.

Surrya revealed, “it’s integral that we get feedback from front-line employees because there is a direct link between safe work life and its impact on the quality of care for our residents and clients … The survey results help inform our strategic and operational plan.”

Heather similarly added, “we are communicating with teams to have a voice as a front-line worker … The survey results will help inform our patient safety targeted and collaborative action plan as we move forward.”

“The HSO Workforce Survey on Well-Being, Quality and Safety™ reinforces the value of asking the right questions about safety, listening, and actioning the results,” said Patricia Sullivan-Taylor, Executive Lead at HSO and webinar moderator – a sentiment echoed by panelists during the discussion.

Rounding out the panel were Graham Lowe, HSO Faculty and Melanie Jameson, Program Manager at HSO, who shared their experiences with the survey methodology, process for development and the rationale and evidence behind the survey.

Graham reinforced that “the new HSO Workforce Survey gives health care organizations and their workforce actionable results that can lead to improvements in priority areas.” Melanie shared preliminary data findings and examples of how this data can highlight the relationship between indicators such as job stress and patient safety grade.

The webinar addressed the importance of having safety conversations in health care to establish a safe workplace and workforce. A need addressed in the WHO Global Patient Safety Action Plan for 2021-2030 which calls for international approaches such as regular organizational surveys and data to address gaps to create a safety culture across the health system.

The HSO Survey provides meaningful feedback on perceptions of safety in the context of workplace and workforce. Providing safety feedback helps examine important outcomes to improve quality and safety within health care teams and organizations.

The discussion concluded with a live poll in which the audience “strongly agreed” that the webinar improved their understanding of advancing safety conversations, practical tools and approaches in health care.

HSO wishes to thank our Canadian Patient Safety Week 2022 partner and webinar host Healthcare Excellence Canada (HEC), and our panelists. At HSO and Accreditation Canada, patient and workforce safety is a strategic priority. By developing and empowering a workforce with the competencies required to build and sustain a culture and practice of safe, high-quality care.

As Canadian Patient Safety Week comes to an end, it’s important to continue to improve safety by having safety conversations and acting on those conversations.