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Sun Country Health Region hosts Patient Safety Conference

Sun Country Health Region hosted its third annual Patient Safety Conference this week in Weyburn. Over 250 staff members from every corner of the southeast attended.

"This is becoming a very important annual event for us," says Marga Cugnet, Vice President, Primary and Integrated Health, Sun Country Health Region. "It's a chance to review some of the new activities we've undertaken in patient safety and to communicate with staff about patient safety issues."

"Research has identified lack of good communication as one of the major contributors to errors in health care, so we are trying to build those lines of communication among staff," she says.

Mrs. Cugnet says health care workers have always recognized that patient safety is an important part of health care but Sun Country Health Region is working to ensure new strategies are in place for improved practices and to ensure staff understands that patient safety is a top priority.

"Patient safety is not just an issue for nurses and doctors, although it's critical for them as well, but also needs to be a priority for everyone in the health care system," she says.

"Staff members who work in non-clinical areas like housekeeping, nutrition, infection control, and the maintenance department all need to understand the role they play in keeping patients safe."

Two speakers were invited to the conference.

Dr. Jacques Guilbert, MD, Physician Risk Manager, Risk Management Services, Canadian Medical Protective Association, discussed the importance of disclosing adverse events to patients. He spoke at the conference to staff and later that day to a special session with physicians working in the Region.

Toronto patient advocate Julie Devaney also provided a story-telling performance called "My Leaky Body," based on her five years' experience as a patient in hospitals and operating rooms.

The theme of the conference is "Every patient safe, every time," a goal that Sun Country Health Region has adopted.

Media: For more information, please call Joanne Helmer, Communications Coordinator, 842-8353. Released October 8, 2009.

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