Fraser Health launches safety plan in hospitals

Fraser Health is launching a safety initiative for patients in hospitals south of the Fraser. They're teaming up with design students to get the message out.

Health authority teams up with Emily Carr's Health Design Lab to get the message out

Fraser Health will be teaming up with Emily Carr University's Design Lab to launch a new safety initiative in hospitals. (Fraser Health)

Fraser Health is launching an initiative to improve safety for patients in hospitals south of the Fraser, and staff are teaming up with Emily Carr University's Health Design Lab to help get the message out.

The health authority is looking for ways to reduce potential harm to patients in its facilities, such as medication errors, hospital acquired infections, and falls.

The initiative, called Keeping Patients Safe, calls for co-operation between doctors, patients, families and hospital staff to reduce risks to patients.

"We do make errors in hospitals — it's well known around the world," said Fraser Health CEO Dr. Nigel Murray. "Hospitals are places that can have incidents, and we want to minimize those."

It can be as simple as visitors making sure they've washed their hands or patients double-checking their medication; it can also include more complex changes, such as reassessing room design in hospitals. 

Murray said hospitals are busy places and overcrowding does place a risk to patient safety: "This is a new approach to draw patients and public and staff into the practice.”

The campaign's messaging will be easily accessible — on planes, trains and construction sites, for example.

Over the next few months, Fraser Health will collaborate with the Health Design Lab at Emily Carr University. They're hoping to have the first round of design prototypes early next year.

with files from the CBC's Terry Donnelly

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