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Creative ideas flow from an event: Showers and Flowers at UHNBC


A man stands behind a table set with canned drinks, raffle entry box, and door prizes
Brian Richards, NH Elderly Services Clinician, mans the hydration station at the Showers and Flowers event

It’s not every day that I get to do the two-step at work, but when I do, I’m glad it means that patients, families, and staff are getting involved in quality improvement!

Earnest Gregoras sitting with a blanket hanging over his shoulders wearing a sun hat
Resident Earnest Gregorash enjoys the festivities.

On May 2, I had the great pleasure of joining the University Hospital of Northern BC (UHNBC) Short Stay Medical Unit (SSMU) team at their Showers and Flowers event where a fizzy water tasting station had participants upping their hydration game. Improving hydration can be a challenge in acute and long-term care, but it’s vital in preventing and reducing hospital-acquired urinary tract infections. Patients, families, staff, and physicians alike had fun sipping and guessing the flavours, while also being asked for their creative ideas for how the SSMU team could improve hydration for their patients.

Because seeds and plants need hydration just like people, this event also featured a seed-starting party. Patients were able to get their hands (and in some cases their laps and feet) dirty while planting seeds that will eventually grow into flowers and vegetables to fill the SSMU patio garden boxes. The sun was shining, oldies tunes drifted through the air, folks (including me!) were dancing, and everyone was having fun!

Residents sit enjoying refreshments
Residents of the Short Stay Medical Unit planted seedlings and sipped flavoured bubbly water.

This creative event was part of a quality improvement program that’s aiming to reduce the harms that sometimes happen when people are in hospital, such as dehydration. It was the brainchild of Brian Richards, Shelby Rud, and Christine Platsko – all members of the Specialized Older Adult Services team and unit leadership for the SSMU at UHNBC.

I want to thank them for their willingness to step outside the implementation box with me. Together we proved that good ideas flow when fun is happening!