Background and Objectives:
While the priority of caregivers in any health care establishment is patient care, they are often constrained by time and cannot fully devote themselves to projects aiming at improving the quality and safety of care. Although the culture of quality is widespread in health care establishments, the quality and safety department team must continue to improve existing procedures and develop new ones, in order to reinforce the take-home message that safety is of paramount importance. Since good communication is a key factor in the success of quality plans, the quality and safety team in our establishment is placing special emphasis on “out of the ordinary” activities that take professional carers out of their daily routines, arouse their curiosity, and increase their adherence to quality procedures.
The issues addressed during these activities are based on the year-round continuous assessment of in-house procedures. Only those that have been deemed essential for safe care are focused upon. Most of the activities that are implemented have already been tried and tested in the fields of industry and aviation, and they all have a fun, collaborative, and creative component. Their impact and effect are assessed by carrying out the same assessments as those used at the beginning on the project.
These innovative activities, which have received strong support from the staff, have had a positive effect on interdepartmental cooperation, on the adherence to the new methods presented, and on ensuring that information is made available to the greatest number of professionals. They have allowed the staff to acquire and consolidate new professional knowledge and have promoted good practice.
This new program of activities has considerably improved the safety culture within our establishment. While the relationship between the skills of professionals and patient safety is clear to all, the message needs to be delivered in an original way that makes a lasting impression, in addition to using “standard” communication methods such as plenary meetings. The bottom line is to get as many professionals as possible fully adherent to the culture of quality, since quality is everyone's business and health care procedures are constantly evolving. Based on our experience, we provide a set of activities that can be improved and adapted according to the setting in which it is used.