Communicating and working with others are key values for BC PSLS and foundational elements of our strategic priorities. As leaders in the area of patient safety reporting and learning, we’re often approached by others doing similar work and asked to share our experiences.

Last month we talked to people from Nova Scotia and Ireland about the work we do here, and last week we hosted visitors from Alberta Health Services. These interactions always offer great opportunities to learn from others and to reflect on what we are doing. So, we thought it was a good time to update our BC community on our plans!

In keeping with our promise to ensure our stakeholders are up-to-date on what we’re working on, here’s the latest news from BC PSLS Central Office. We believe that our Reporters, Handlers and others who use our system, in all areas of care, will benefit from these upcoming improvements.

We’re excited about what’s to come and we hope will be, too!

Specialty Forms

It’s been one year since we launched our first set of specialty report forms and centralized Landing Page with icons. We’ve added a few more forms since, and this work continues…in a big way!

Here’s a list of new forms we are working on or planning to develop this year:

Residential & Licensing – Goal: To better align data collection in BC PSLS with Ministry of Health (MOH) Licensing Officers’ requirements. The new form will support standardized reporting to MOH, meet the needs of residential care staff more effectively and strengthen relationships among all participants.

Partner: Interior Health

Inter-facility Transfers – Goal: To improve data collection about issues involving the transport of patients from one healthcare site to another. We are collaborating with representatives of the provincial Hospital Access and Patient Flow Working Group and BC Emergency Health Services to develop a form that will suit Health Authority needs and promote communication between all parties.

Partner: Island Health

Perioperative – Goal: To improve data collection about anesthesia and surgery events and enhance learning about these high-risk areas. We’ve configured a form based on other similar systems in the USA and Europe to ensure BC’s anesthesiologists and surgeons will find the new form useful and appropriate to our healthcare system.

Partner: Fraser Health

Organ Donation & Transplant – Goal: To improve data collection and cross-system communication about issues related to organ donation and transplant. Currently, these issues are under-reported and problems are often handled outside of BC PSLS. The specialized form will help the BC Transplant Society (BCTS) and the Health Authorities to report and communicate with each other more easily.

Partner: PHSA (BCTS)

Medical Imaging – Goal: To improve data collection about medical imaging issues. As is the case with organ transplant and donation, the classification used in BC PSLS for these events is inadequate. Informed by work done in Australia, a new specialized form will enable better understanding of these issues and help users target quality and safety improvement strategies, both locally and provincially.

Partner: Vancouver Coastal

Seclusion – Goal: To identify and collect specific information about episodes of seclusion. At the request of the MOH, we will develop a specialized form to capture data about episodes of seclusion, which most frequently involve the Mental Health sector. This work builds on a provincial pilot project led by MOH in 2013. In addition to an existing Steering Committee, a provincial working group with representatives from the Health Authorities will provide guidance and expertise.

Partner: MOH

Perinatal – Goal: To streamline and standardize collection of data about events occurring in the perinatal context. We are working to develop a specialized form for this unique, high-risk area of the healthcare system.

Partner: PHSA (Perinatal Services BC)

Radiation Oncology – Goal: To enable the collection of better, more detailed information about events involving radiation at BC Cancer Agencies. This effort will support a national initiative by the Canadian Partnership for Quality Radiotherapy (CPQR) and will contribute to work planned by the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and its National System for Incident Reporting (NSIR) in the future.

Partner: PHSA (BC Cancer Agency)

Behaviour – Goal: To simplify reporting of events that take place primarily in Mental Health care settings. One of the “Top 5” high-volume categories reported to BC PSLS, this initiative may result in the development of two forms: one targeting issues of aggression towards staff, and one for other patient safety issues involving the behaviour or actions of patients.

Partner: PHSA (BC Mental Health and Substance Use Services)

Equipment and Health Information Technologies – Goal: To streamline reporting and improve data collection about patient safety issues specific to equipment, medical devices, products and supplies and computer systems (hardware and software). This work is in the early stages and will be preceded by some minor modifications to existing forms to inform future specialty form development; it is particularly important given the rapid pace of technological change and the major clinical systems project underway across the province.

Partner: Clinical System Transformation (CST) representatives

Short Report Form – Goal: To streamline reporting of patient safety events that do not fall into a category covered by a specialty report form. The long-awaited and much-requested “Short Form” will replace the existing generic forms used by the Health Authorities, and should only be used to report events that are not covered by one of the specialty forms.


We also have a number of other projects on the go, in addition to our usual-day-to day work of running BC PSLS, that we thought you might be interested in.

Revised Landing Page – Goal: To keep our Landing Page from becoming crowded and confusing to reporters. If you were keeping track above, there may be a dozen new forms coming this year! We are exploring options to keep the Landing Page clean and easy to navigate.

User Guide for the Report Designer in BC PSLS – Goal: To support effective, efficient searching and report design. The eLearning course currently available on our website requires updates, which are coming soon! In the meantime, we encourage Handlers and others interested in reviewing BC PSLS data and creating reports to take the current course and follow-up with their HA Coordinator if they have questions. The updated version of the guide will be available in eLearning and pdf formats – stay tuned!

Blood Transfusion Events – Goal: To enhance data collection about events involving blood transfusions provincially. We’re working with representatives of the Transfusion Event Surveillance System (TESS) at Island Health (VIHA) to analyze current provincial data and determine the benefits and feasibility of spreading their approach to the rest of BC. We’ve also worked recently with the Provincial Blood Coordinating Office to add data elements to our existing Blood Transfusion / Blood Product Safety Event Report form and set up a process to help them and the Health Authorities meet legislated reporting requirements about blood redistribution events.

Expand BC PSLS Access – Goal: To make it possible to allow access to BC PSLS to organizations outside of the Enterprise Network Gateway (ENG), the intranet used by the Health Authorities to access our system. Representatives from Health Shared Services BC (HSSBC) Corporate Transformation Team are working with us to explore the feasibility and benefits of expanding the availability of BC PSLS to organizations, such as affiliated residential care facilities, that sit outside of the ENG.

Patient’s View – Goal: To give patients and families a means to report patient safety concerns. Following research studies and a pilot phase, rollout of “Patient’s View”, the BC PSLS patient and family reporting initiative is underway at BC Children’s Hospital and will soon see a proof-of-concept project begin involving a more user-friendly interface and iPads. A future goal is to expand Patient’s View to other organizations in BC, including adult care settings.

Medication Module Updates and Data Sharing – Goal: To improve medication event reporting and enable contribution to CIHI NSIR. This long-running project is nearing completion, which will see incorporation of a more comprehensive medication data set in BC PSLS and the ability for us to share medication event data with CIHI NSIR to promote better learning from events at both provincial and national levels.

re:act updates – Goal: To incorporate new data elements and workflow related to the reporting and handling of incidents of adult abuse and neglect. We are working with representatives from Vancouver Coastal to make changes to the re:act version of BC PSLS to better support their important work.

Optimizing BC PSLS Analytics – Goal: To provide better, more comprehensive information about patient safety in BC. New reports will be made available to senior leaders, HA Coordinators and other designated users across BC. Also, some listing reports currently available in BC PSLS will be moved to BC PSLS Reports (our analytics / business intelligence tool) to alleviate system performance issues caused by users running listing reports with large data sets.

Datix Version 14 Testing – Goal: To inform the development of the Datix software used by BC PSLS and promote problem-free upgrades of BC PSLS. Testing of the pre-release next version of Datix software is underway and we are excited about some of the improvements and new features coming. We appreciate the opportunity to provide feedback to Datix on the new version and influence their work prior to its general release.

So that’s an overview of most of the key projects we’re working on right now, and what you can expect over the coming months. As promised, we’ll keep you in the loop as this work continues. And we’ll do our best to communicate regularly with your HA Coordinator for things like unexpected outages, system upgrades and special projects so he/she can keep you informed of what’s happening with BC PSLS!

You’ll note that for most of our initiatives we partner with groups from one of the Health Authorities, provincial committees or other organizations. These partners are our subject matter experts and the champions out in the working world of BC healthcare who bring us their ideas and experience, keep BC PSLS relevant and useful and share our mission of making healthcare safer by fostering a culture of safety, shared learning and continuous system improvement. Together, we get closer to achieving our vision of “Safe healthcare for BC: No needless harm.”

Thank you for your support and your commitment to patient safety!

One last note about all of this exciting work – and we realize we’re patting our own backs here – but all this work quite simply wouldn’t happen without our very talented and hard-working Central Office team.

Please reach out to us if you have a question, comment or suggestion. We look forward to connecting with you!

Here’s who we are, what we do and how you can reach us:

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