Region staffer receives patient safety award

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority
Published Wednesday, June 8, 2016

The Director of the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority’s Medical Device Reprocessing Program has been recognized for her efforts to reduce the risk of hospital-acquired infections from medical devices.

Gale Schulz was named Patient Safety Champion for 2016 by the Manitoba Institute of Patient Safety (MIPS) during the organization’s annual general meeting on Wednesday.

In presenting Schulz with its top award, MIPS noted Schultz’s leadership in reducing the risk to patients of acquiring health-care associated infections from medical devices that are improperly cleaned and sterilized before being used on the next patient. This includes thousands of medical devices, ranging from surgical tools to respiratory equipment.

Schultz is a long-time leader in her field. She is a founding member of the Provincial Medical Device Reprocessing Working Group, the vice-chair of the Canadian Standards Association Technical Committee on Sterilization and a driving force in the formation of the Canadian Association for Medical Device Reprocessing.

Created in 2004, MIPS promotes activities that have a positive impact on patient safety throughout Manitoba. Examples of this include disclosure when things go wrong, studying incidents to find ways of prevention, apologizing and creating standard safety procedures.

The Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety also awarded $7,380 to three projects through its Dr. John Wade Patient Safety Initiatives Grant. The grants recognize the practice, awareness and knowledge of patient safety.

The first was Dianna Meseyton-Neufeld’s plan to assess and replace seniors’ slippers that are too worn, slippery or damaged. Neufeld, who works with Southern Health-Santé Sud, uses the opportunity to educate seniors on ways to minimize the risk of falls.

Lorri French, the Senior Resource Coordinator in the Emerson Franklin Municipality, received a grant to hold safety and education sessions on issues for seniors. French hosted presentations on anxiety and mood disorders that included discussion on coping techniques, the proper care of mobility equipment and the diagnosis, treatment and the importance of physical activity in combating osteoporosis.

Venetia Bourrier, the Director of Quality, Patient Safety and Risk at CancerCare Manitoba (CCMB) and associates Michele Fontaine and Carla Krueger, received a grant to do a preliminary test of a check list for oral chemotherapy that can be used by community pharmacists. The results have identified where small improvements could be made at CCMB, which would have an impact on reducing pharmacists’ workload as well as patient safety with oral cancer drug prescriptions. CCMB will work with physicians to assist them to ensure complete information on prescriptions, and continue to work with pharmacists to further develop the check list.

The Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety’s grants are named in honour of Dr. John G. Wade. The University of Manitoba medical school graduate is internationally-recognized for his pioneering work in patient safety. His leadership led to the creation of both the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety.

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The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority acknowledges that it provides health services in facilities located in Treaty One and Treaty Five territories, the homelands of the Métis Nation and the original lands of the Inuit people. The WRHA respects and acknowledges harms and mistakes, and we dedicate ourselves to collaborate in partnership with First Nation, Métis and Inuit people in the spirit of reconciliation.
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