I am pleased to highlight two nationally celebrated weeks that take place each year in October - National Infection Control Week (October 19-23) and Canadian Patient Safety Week (October 26-30). These weeks provide an opportunity to showcase and celebrate Northern Health’s efforts towards Patient Safety and Infection Prevention and Control – particularly as we continue the critical work of enabling the people we serve and their families, as well as Northern Health’s staff and physicians, to be safe in Northern Health facilities and communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The theme of Canadian Patient Safety Week 2020 is Virtual Care is New to Us. The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the planning and delivery of virtual care and services across Northern BC. Many of the people Northern Health serves value the option to access virtual care and services. While these virtual care options expand in both types of services and their reach, we must strive to ensure that the virtual patient experience attends to person- and family-centred care, to cultural safety, and to quality of care.
Since the pandemic was declared on March 2020, the commitment to quality and safety by Northern Health staff and physicians has been exceptional. I have heard many examples of the extra measures that staff have taken in their day-to-day work to enable care to be provided safely in the pandemic context. As we recognize Canadian Patient Safety Week, I would like to sincerely thank Northern Health staff and physicians for these efforts.