PHC Patient Safety Retreat Recap: "We've Got This!"

Jan 4, 2019 | News

Planning committee: Andrew Reid (Learning and Organizational Change); Vivian Lin (Administrative Assistant); Garth Hunte (ED Physician); Sarah Carriere (Leader, Patient Safety); Camille Ciarniello (Corporate Director, Risk Management, Patient Safety and Quality, Patient Relations and IPAC), Kunal Moryani (Learning and Organizational Change); Caitlin (Coordinator, Health Promotion and Psychological Safety). Planning committee: Andrew Reid (Learning and Organizational Change); Vivian Lin (Administrative Assistant); Garth Hunte (ED Physician); Sarah Carriere (Leader, Patient Safety); Camille Ciarniello (Corporate Director, Risk Management, Patient Safety and Quality, Patient Relations and IPAC), Kunal Moryani (Learning and Organizational Change); Caitlin (Coordinator, Health Promotion and Psychological Safety).

On Friday, November 9 at the Four Seasons Hotel, we held our 2018 Patient Safety Retreat centred around the theme: “We’ve Got This.” This year’s theme explored the topic of adapting amidst uncertainty. Attended by 150 clinical, non-clinical staff, patient partners, and corporate leaders in addition to frontline clinicians, our aim was to provide the tools, resources and space for leaders to think, discuss and ask critical questions, specifically when dealing with times of uncertainty. The central question that came up was the following: how can we – as a leader, team and organization – adapt and maintain a resilient culture during times of uncertainty?

Elder Roberta Price from the Coast Salish Snuneymuxw and Cowichan First Nations, and a survivor of the foster care system, opened the retreat with an emotional, spiritual and resilient presence, shared her history and life experience, ending with a traditional ceremony and prayer.

Fiona Dalton – affectionately now known as our Head Gardener - introduced the notion that we are in the business of cultivating compassion; we have the ability to learn from one another and our surroundings in order to make a difference to patients, families, residents and client’s lives through compassion, quality care, and outcomes-driven objectives.

Fiona Dalton, President & CEO of Providence Health Care, speaking at the 2018 Patient Safety Retreat .

Fiona was then followed by our keynote speaker Will Gadd, a full-time sponsored extreme sports athlete, and one of the top outdoor adventure athletes in the world. Not only is Will passionate about sharing his ability to complete risky adventures safely, he provided simple rules on how individuals see the world and themselves different. When it comes to thinking about risk and safety, Will is the one man you want to hear from: “If there’s one thing that I’ve learned in terms of managing risk and mitigating risk, it’s your ability to think negatively – not positively – that actually matters.” Having lost more than 30 friends in the mountain, Will taught us how to approach life with structure, and find opportunities for learning. Seek understanding, expect change, expect fear, be vigilant, honest, and fearless. 

Will Gadd, a full-time sponsored extreme sports athlete, and one of the top outdoor adventure athletes in Canada. 

The day was then split into three main topic sessions: leader (bring our best selves to our team), team (inspire the team), and organization (resilience through uncertainty). Session one’s exploration was on how we can practice being conscious leaders who pay attention to intentionally boosting resiliency within us and others around us in delivering health care. Resilience was defined “…the intrinsic ability of a system to adjust its functioning prior to, during, or following changes and disturbances, so that it can sustain required operations under both expected and unexpected conditions.” (Hollangel, Braithwaite, Wears, 2015). A way to cope with stress was introduced by our second guest speaker Marta Musa, an artist and previous critical care nurse that suffers from a mild traumatic brain injury. Through humor and vulnerability, Marta demonstrated how humor and finding the absurd moments in life can be effective self-care tools to cope with stress, both in our personal and professional lives. By finding connection and practising with compassion and kindness, we all have the opportunity to become vulnerability champions and provide exceptional patient-centered care.

In Marta’s words, to help yourself push beyond your comfort zone and become vulnerable, let go of your judgments, stay in the present, and shift your perspective to how your best friend would see your situation. Using the “Thriving Needs” exercise, we searched within ourselves to find success patterns, in order to learn how we can find success within our team and help maximize their contribution and overall performance in providing safe patient care. 

Session two built on self-resiliency by understanding the implications of fostering team resilience and developing effective leadership actions to strengthen team resilience.  Using the Locating Yourself   exercise, we learned the difference between leading from trust versus leading from threat by locating if we are “above the line, or below the line.” Leaders came away with a mindset around being proactive and productive in setting conditions that foster team resilience. Finally, we learned that resilience is not a magic pill or the answers to our problems. Rather, resilience comes from our interactions with one another – it’s not something we have; it’s something we do.

So what does a resilient team look like at PHC? Well according to those who attended the retreat, being resilient means doing the following things:

Our final session led by Dr Garth Hunte – our local guru in Patient Safety – sought to bring new knowledge on safety and resilient system performance. Building on the notion that resilience is not a state but is emergent in dynamic action, like safety, resilience is something we do. The second objective was to understand the importance of broadening our perspective on patient safety management through a productive and proactive focus. Using resilience performance concepts, teams discussed how they can respond, monitor, learn and anticipate anticipated and unanticipated patient safety events, which support our ability to be flexible and adaptive in our environment.

As a health care organization, we are all in a very big boat that takes a long time to turn around. Through vulnerability, resilience and transformation, we are at the forefront of advancing patient safety, the care experience, and healthcare outcomes by learning from everyday work. Through sense-making, finding connections, relatedness, and from what allows us to provide care that goes right we have the chance to make things safer for those who we serve and be world leaders.

Want to dive deeper into resiliency?

Check out some of the CORE Pathway courses on Learning Hub, or contact your Patient Safety department!

On behalf of the 2018 Patient Safety Retreat planning committee, thank you for a highly successful, interactive, thought provoking and an overall drive for improvement from a community that is passionate about patient safety. 

Quality & Safety

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