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Improving patient care in the North


Improving patient care in north
Patient care top of mind as Northern Health celebrates National Infection Control Week and Canadian Patient Safety Week.

"2021 has required Northern Health staff and physicians to continue the pandemic response that has been in place since the pandemic was declared in March 2020. Despite exhaustion and many challenges, the commitment to quality and safety by Northern Health staff and physicians has been exceptional. I continue to hear many examples of the commitment to providing services and care as safely as possible in the pandemic context. As we recognize National Infection Control Week and Canadian Patient Safety Week, I would like to sincerely thank you for the personal sacrifices that are made every day to provide care and services to those in need."

- Cathy Ulrich, Northern Health, President and Chief Executive Officer

National Infection Control Week: October 18-22, 2021

National Infection Control Week was launched in 1988 to highlight infection control efforts in Canadian hospitals, long-term care facilities, and in the community. It’s an opportunity for infection control professionals to educate staff and the community about the importance of infection prevention and to promote the important work they do in a fun and visible way.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the lives of millions around the world, forcing us to adapt to a “new normal” and giving us the enormous task of uniting to address this public health emergency. Health care workers have been doing an outstanding job working to ensure that people affected by the virus are supported and that everyone is doing their best to flatten the curve. National Infection Control Week highlights and strengthens this important work.

More information: National Infection Control Week

Canadian Patient Safety Week: October 25-29, 2021

Canadian Patient Safety Week (CPSW) was created in 2005 by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) to “inspire and celebrate extraordinary improvement in patient safety and quality.” Healthcare Excellence Canada, launched in spring 2021, brings together the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement, and continues to champion a vision of safe care for all Canadians.

CPSW provides a place to highlight the voices of patients, health care providers, and their families. It’s an opportunity for people who have been negatively impacted by the health care system to share their stories and experiences, with the goal of making improvements to the system and reducing the risk of negative impacts recurring. During CPSW 2019, Northern Health was fortunate to have a patient partner, Sally Rosevear, share her story.

This year’s theme is “Who knows? Essential Care Partners do.” According to Health Excellence Canada, essential care partners are “vital members of the care team who provide consistent support to a loved one throughout their care journey – improving safety, care and the well-being of all involved.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has seen restrictions that prevented essential care partners from being present in acute and long-term care facilities to be active partners in their loved ones’ care. As we again see an increase in COVID case numbers, CPSW is encouraging health care teams to safely reintegrate essential care partners by:

  1. Differentiating between visitors and essential care partners, and recognizing the value of essential care partners.
  2. Safely welcoming and reintegrating essential care partners in health and care settings across the country.
  3. Engaging with Healthcare Excellence Canada’s Essential Together program for implementation support on reintegrating essential care partners safely into health and care settings.

More information