Safety innovation takes centre stage at #BCCPA2017

Four finalists for #BCCPA2017 Safety Den announced!

A highlight of the BC Care Providers’ annual conference is SafeCare BC’s Safety Den – sponsored by Points West AV – in which four organizations pitch their health and safety idea to a panel of four judges. Earlier this year, a call went for submissions to the Safety Den. The submissions received this year were very creative and showed the commitment and passion that employees and organizations have for creating safe workplaces. A committee reviewed the submissions, and narrowed it down to four finalists, who will present on May 29 at the Safety Den. Here are the finalists.

Kinsmen Lodge
Kathleen Kennedy-Strath, the Lodge’s CEO recognizes the importance of staff stretching before and after a shift to help reduce the risk of injury. Her ask to staff was that they create a tool that was fun, educational and practical. Staffers Jenn and Yen stretched their creativity and created a fun exercise video for staff. “They did a great job with this initiative,” says Kathleen. “We got a great response from our staff. It’s visual and fun, and a great learning tool.” Kathleen adds that it only takes a few minutes to get your body warmed up with some easy stretches, and you can do it anywhere.

Yana Health Systems
Taj Baidwan, and his partners, Duncan Campbell and Dr. Drew Digney, all have experience in BC’s health system, and it’s the high rate of injury among health care employees that motivates them. “The way we break our staff is not sustainable,” says Baidwan. “We know we have to do something different.” Inspired by the work of a small U.S. company that uses musculoskeletal movement analysis in performance athletics, the trio felt there was similar application for health care. This functional imaging technology can guide rehab, but even better it can identify potential injuries before they happen.

Chilliwack Society for Community Living
For the past few years, the Chilliwack Society for Community Living has participated in the North American Occupational Safety and Health Week. “Our goal has been how to take serious policy and shift it into something that is fun,” says Jeff Gilbank, the Society’s Director, Continuous Quality Improvement. Last year they introduced the concept of a comic book as a tool for learning. The staff came up with a group of villainous characters. It was such a hit that they recently introduced a new comic book, this time featuring super heroes. “I can’t think of another initiative that we have done that has garnered this kind of attention from our staff,” says Gilbank. “There were some hidden talents amongst our staff, because the entire comic book was created internally.”

Vancouver Coastal
Lilian Hung sees many patients on her unit with dementia. Being in the hospital can be stressful for these individuals, and this anxiety can often trigger responsive behaviours. Hung and her colleagues are always looking for non-pharmaceutical interventions to help calm patients. One idea that has had particular success is to take pre-recorded messages from family members, load them onto an iPad, and then show the message to a patient when needed. The messages are usually specific to a task, taking medication for example. “We have seen a significant reduction in behavioural issues, since we began this initiative,” says Hung. “We see how individuals transform from being upset to being agreeable. It’s so simple and low cost, yet has had a very positive impact, not only for our patients and their families, but also for our staff.”