In healthcare, medical imaging (MI) is the production of high-resolution images of the human body, and often involves expertise from a variety of medical professionals such as Radiologists, Technologists, Sonographers, Clerical, or Medical Physicists. Medical images are often a crucial part of patient care, facilitating diagnosis, decision-making and future care planning, so ensuring patients are safe is a key priority.
At Island Health, a region that provides healthcare services to approximately 765,000 British Columbians, two patient safety advocates are using BC PSLS to enhance MI reporting processes, tailor education approaches and enable better data collection about these types of patient safety events.
“When we joined Island Health a couple years ago, we recognized the value of BC PSLS right away,” says Leanne Webb, Medical Imaging Manager, CI/NI and Lori House, Medical Imaging Manager, SI . “Our first priority was to use BC PSLS data to identify the most common MI events at Island Health, and then spread the word about how we can improve MI reporting and safety.”
Beginning with North, Central, and South Vancouver Island, the pair met with MI staff to learn more about how they were using BC PSLS to report MI events and discuss ways to make the reporting process more efficient and straightforward.
“When we first met with MI staff, Handlers in particular, they told us they were unsure about what kinds of MI events to report and how to categorize them,” says Leanne. “This feedback was common, not just in one or two areas, but across Island Health.”
Recognizing an ideal opportunity to improve MI safety and educate staff, Lori and Leanne worked together to develop a standardized model for MI safety event reporting at Island Health.
“Our MI PSLS Quick Guide provides examples of the most common MI events and gives direction on how to report them in BC PSLS,” says Leanne. “The guide includes direction for choosing Event Category, Details and Additional Details, which means that MI events are entered into the system in the same way, making our data more accurate.”
Since implementing this standardized approach, Lori and Leanne feel confident that with better data going ‘in’ to BC PSLS they will see improvements in the data they’re getting ‘out’, which will help significantly with guiding future directions for MI safety at Island Health.
But, they’re not stopping there! An inspiring outcome from this valuable work is the evolution of a culture of ‘no fear’ reporting, which has become increasingly visible across Island Health. “We’re very open and transparent with our staff and we continuously encourage them to report in BC PSLS,” says Lori. “We don’t penalize anybody for submitting a patient safety event because BC PSLS is such a great tool for education and learning, and we want everyone at Island Health to be patient safety champions.”
Today, Lori and Leanne meet regularly with the Island Health MI Leader team, giving them the opportunity to share their experiences and participate in group discussion about MI safety. In addition, the new Island Health MI Quality Council reviews BC PSLS events regularly to analyze MI data and plan quality improvement strategies that will lead to improvements in patient care.
Congratulations to Lori, Leanne and all the MI staff at Island Health!