Patient engagement is viewed by many to be a critical component of achieving safe healthcare. We need to engage all patients – the public – to help increase safer healthcare practices.
Other prevention efforts, such as the campaign to decrease smoking, have effectively engaged the public in achieving significant cultural shifts in attitudes and actions. For instance, anti-smoking efforts have made it unacceptable to smoke with your children in the car. The efforts toward increasing patient safety could benefit from the lessons learned in the anti-smoking campaigns. There is much to be learned.
For this session the term patient safety champion includes any individual that volunteers as a patient or family representative in programs, groups, networks or organizations working to improve quality and safety in healthcare.
The session includes conversation among participants, contributing to the dialogue verbally or via chat, including:
At the end of this interactive session, participants left with at least one practical idea to engage the public in making healthcare safer.
Les Hagen is the executive director of Action on Smoking and Health which is Western Canada's leading tobacco control organization. For over 25 years, he has provided provincial and national leadership in tobacco control and prevention. Les is a strong believer in community engagement and healthy public policy. He provides a history of anti-tobacco advocacy, including:
Theresa Malloy-Miller is a Patient Champion at Patients for Patient Safety Canada and moderates the dialogue among the participants to apply lessons learned from anti-smoking advocacy to patient safety.
All participants were asked to add their ideas about key patient safety messages for public engagement and how best to apply anti-smoking strategies to the field of patient safety.