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Patient Safety

Patient safety is a system-wide issue, and improvement requires trust and open communication. Instead of casting blame, VCH is committed to focusing on why errors occurred and designing safer processes to make it easier for all staff to do the right thing.


Andreas, a unit clerk, witnesses a patient slip on a wet floor nearby and alerts the patient’s nurse, Suki.

What should Andreas do next?


The most important information I need to know.

Expectations and

Patient Safety Event
Reporting and Controls

Quality and Patient Safety
or Conditions

Why is Patient Safety Important?

Patient safety is the reduction and mitigation of unsafe acts within the health care system through the use of best practices shown to lead to optimal patient outcomes. (Canadian Patient Safety Dictionary, 2003) 

Patient harm in Canadian hospitals? It does happen. 

My Role

As a VCH employee, you play a critical role in ensuring patient safety. You can do this by identifying, addressing, and reporting safety problems that occur during your work day. Safety is an essential component of quality care and quality care begins with you!

Working with Patients

Quality care is best achieved when the patient/resident/client along with their family/ friends, become Partners in Care with health care providers.

Community Engagement supports involvement of patients/community to improve the quality of care, as well the safety and experience of our patients.

What and How to Report?

Any patient safety concerns such as adverse events, good catches, or near misses (e.g. falls, medication errors, or unsafe patient behaviour) must be reported on the Patient Safety & Learning System (PSLS) website as soon as possible. You can access instructions on how to report on the VCH intranet.  

The PSLS is non-punitive in nature: the focus is on the learning. More information can be found on the BCPSLS Central website.

What Happens After Reporting?

Your supervisor, manager and/or leaders will work together with you on gathering further information. The resulting data is used to inform learning and improvement activities which are documented within the PSLS for shared learning.

The PSLS is used by health care providers, leaders, and others to analyze and trend the types of events that are reported, and then make any necessary changes to improve quality of care and patient safety.

What If I Suspect Adult Abuse and Neglect?

If you have concerns that a vulnerable adult is being abused, is living at risk due to neglect or self-neglect, or is having difficulty accessing support and assistance on their own, it is your responsibility to report.

Acquire more information about Adult Abuse & Neglect at the ReAct Adult Protection Program on what to do and who to contact. More information is available through the React Intranet and at:
If you still require direction call: 604.984.6173 or 1-877-REACT-99 (1-877-732-2899).

Quality Assurance

Quality Assurance programs include: Accreditation, Medication Reconciliation, and Care-Sensitive Adverse Events.

The Safety Measurement Framework is a five-dimension monitoring approach that provides a comprehensive picture of how we are performing as an organization.    

Quality Improvement

Quality Improvement relies on the combined and unceasing efforts of everyone. An example at VCH is Team-Based Quality Improvement (TBQI), a quality improvement strategy that empowers point-of-care staff to support quality improvement at the point of care.

You can find more Quality and Patient Safety information on the VCH Intranet.


Tips to help me take care and stay safe.

Promote learning

Encourage reporting of safety events on the Patient Safety & Learning System (PSLS) to promote learning. At VCH, we’re always open to innovative ideas and ways to improve health care.

Speak up!

Share ideas and recommendations for change with your supervisor/manager and/or reach out to resources at VCH, such as the Quality and Patient Safety Department or Community Engagement Advisory Network

Adhere to role expectations

Role expectations are laid out in the Partners in Care document, and will help you to promote our VCH values: we care for everyone, we are always learning, and we strive for better results.

React to adult abuse and neglect

If you suspect adult abuse and neglect, find out what to do and who to contact at the ReAct Adult Protection Program or call: 604.984.6173 or 1-877-REACT-99 (1-877-732-2899).


Checking my confidence in this subject.


As you continue in orientation, consider how you can support a culture of safety in your work setting.

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