Putting an end to the “name, blame, shame” approach to error in healthcare

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By Danae Theakston

When things go wrong in healthcare, it’s easy to ‘name, blame, and shame.’ But it actually takes bravery and vulnerability for a team to share their experiences in making changes to improve patient safety when an error has occurred.

At Southlake Regional Health Centre, interprofessional teams are working together to speak up when it comes to situations where things have not gone as planned in order to promote a culture of safety.

Interprofessional practice is putting patients first, by bringing together members of the healthcare team to collaborate, share and learn from each other. An example of this practice includes Artichoke Rounds which is now recognized as a Leading Canadian Practice by Accreditation Canada.

Artichoke Rounds – a catchy name for a creative platform that encourages interprofessional teams to share learning and speak up for safety.

“It’s about peeling back the layers of interprofessional processes, to get to the “heart” of the matter,” said Lorna Bain, the coordinator of Interprofessional Collaboration and Education at Southlake. “The Rounds offer a safe and encouraging environment of discussion for teams and frontline staff to talk about and hear stories everyone can learn from.”This practice is an innovative way to achieve positive results at a minimal cost.  Together, the team is working to create the “ultimate patient experience” as part of Southlake’s strategic plan.

By sharing experiences and patient stories, it can shed light on possible gaps occurring in other areas of the hospital. “Since we initiated the Artichoke Rounds, staff who have been involved have spoken of the shift in culture,” said Dr. Wulffhart, Physician Leader, Regional Cardiac Care Program and Director of Medical Education. “They’ve become more comfortable with speaking up, and encouraging others around them to do the same.”

Artichoke Rounds serve as an arena to lessen moral distress and alleviate compassion fatigue often experienced by front line staff. It promotes safety as system causes are explored and improvement strategies are shared.

The Rounds are only one example of initiatives Southlake has implemented to improve the quality of services at the hospital. Back in March, Southlake achieved Accreditation Canada’s top ranking of Exemplary Standing. “We were thrilled to learn that we have achieved this designation from Accreditation Canada,” said Dr. Dave Williams, President and CEO at Southlake. “Each day, our talented people demonstrate their passion for delivering safe, quality care to our patients. We all share in the pride of this success.”

As a learning organization striving for high reliability, Artichoke Rounds’ goal is to raise the bar on quality by reaching frontline staff across programs to gain input, learn from errors, and not repeat them.

Danae Theakston is a Corporate Communications & Government Relations Assistant at Southlake Regional Health Centr