Published on Wed, 11/27/2019 by Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety

Dr. John Wade Patient Safety Initiatives Grant Outcomes 2019; Patient Safety Champion Awards 2019

About MIPS, the Dr. John Wade Patient Safety Initiatives Grant, the Patient Safety Champion Award

The Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety’s grants are named in honour of Dr. John G. Wade. The University of Manitoba medical school graduate is internationally recognized for his pioneering work in patient safety and is described as the “Father of Patient Safety in Canada.” His leadership led to the creation of both the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety. The Dr. John Wade Patient Safety Initiatives Grant funds projects that support patient safety initiatives in Manitoba.

The Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety “Patient Safety Champion Award” celebrates individuals who work at or are a member of a Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety member organization.  Recipients demonstrate the following qualities:

  • Passion and commitment for improving patient safety
  • Provide and support health care
  • Identify areas for improvement and commits to change or enables change that has a positive impact on patient safety and quality improvement
  • Lead by example
  • Inspire others

Created in 2004, the Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety promotes, coordinates and facilitates activities that have a positive impact on patient safety throughout Manitoba while enhancing the quality of healthcare for Manitobans. The Institute’s patient safety initiatives like It’s Safe To Ask have been replicated across Canada and internationally. To date they have contributed over $209,300.00 to projects that focus on patient safety.

Patient safety can be defined as activities that caregivers, patients and families engage in to prevent harm to patients and work towards providing the safest possible care. Examples are disclosing when things go wrong, studying patient incidents to find ways to prevent them, apologizing, creating standard procedures such as checklists, and creating cultures that are open to patient and caregiver team input.

Sedative-Hypnotic Deprescribing Initiative in Prairie Mountain Health

Prairie Mountain Health (PMH) has the highest rate in Manitoba of benzodiazepine use among residents aged 75+ in long term care at 47 per cent. In addition, nearly 25 per cent of Community-dwelling residents age 75+ are prescribed benzodiazepine. They are used to treat insomnia, anxiety, and seizure disorders. In addition to being addictive, they are associated with memory impairment, falls, fractures and motor vehicle accidents.

Dr. Elizabeth Rhynold, a Geriatrician working in Prairie Mountain Health, and the Falls Prevention and Management Steering Committee received $4,000 for their project aimed at Sedative-Hypnotic De-prescribing in Prairie Mountain Health. With these funds, Dr. Rhynold and her team partnered with health care providers to implement a client-centered de-prescribing education program based on the Choosing Wisely "Drowsy Without Feeling Lousy" toolkit that includes an algorithm from the Canadian Deprescribing Network.

Dr. Rhynold’s project was a three-pronged approach to sedative-hypnotic de-prescribing including a community focus, acute care focus, and long term care focus.

More than Words? Assessing the Impact of Apology Legislation in Canada

Apology legislation protects health care providers from the legal ramifications of apologies following a patient safety incident. While the positive benefits of apologies have been acknowledged by patients, advocates, and health care providers, there is little research that explores the positive impacts or limitations of apology legislation. Well-intentioned, but poorly executed apologies can hurt patients and their families.

Dr. Karine Levasseur, an Associate Professor in the Department of Political Studies at the University of Manitoba and Dr. Fiona MacDonald of the University of the Fraser Valley were awarded $3,000 to support their current phase of research with a focus on the experiences, benefits, enablers, and limitations of apology legislation for health care providers.

Three key themes were identified through Dr. Levasseur’s and Dr. MacDonald’s research:

  1. While the interviews confirm there are benefits to medical professionals when they apologize, there are mixed signals sent to them about whether to apologize to a patient. Medical professionals informed us that they understand that an apology, under the apology legislation, is not an admission of guilt, but the advice they receive from the risk management and legal communities runs contrary to the apology legislation.
  2. Medical professionals shared that an apology may not be enough—especially when patient harm has lasting effects that significantly alters the patient’s life. Some experiences captured by this research show that an apology is not enough unless it is accompanied by proactive compensation.
  3. Key indicators of what makes for a meaningful apology include:
  • robust disclosure of what went wrong;
  • empathy (patients and families desire expressions of regret, genuine emotional engagement, validation of what happened as being wrong or harmful);
  • timeliness because apologies provided too late are not well-received and an apology provided too soon risks obscuring responsibility and perhaps the true cause of error;
  • a good medical apology is documented and clearly communicates who or what is responsible to the patient or family member;
  • includes a commitment to prevent the error from re-occurring; and
  • the word ‘sorry’ ought to be included.


Click for the press release: Dr. John Wade Patient Safety Initiatives Grant and Patient Safety Champion Award recipients share patient safety success at MIPS 15th anniversary AGM