The Cypress Health Region Safety Management System (SMS) was built to improve safety for all individuals interacting with our health region including staff, patients, residents, physicians, volunteers, contractors, and others.
A Safety Management System is a framework and tool to help organizations meet their legal obligations under Occupational Health and Safety law. Traditionally this was achieved through a Certificate of Recognition model commonly used in the construction industry. Our development of an enhanced SMS was a joint initiative between our Region and the Saskatchewan Association for Safe Workplaces in Saskatchewan (SASHW).
The new SMS aims to evolve our overall safety culture with an end goal of less injuries and greater awareness that all users interacting with our system have specific safety responsibilities and accountabilities.
The redesigned system factored in the safety rights and responsibilities of employees, patients/clients/residents, volunteers and visitors, contractors, students, physicians and medical residents, and vendors/suppliers. Our region is the first health authority in the province to incorporate all users of the health system into its SMS.
The correlation between the safety of healthcare workers and system users has been well documented in recent years. The creation of a SMS built around the safety needs of all individuals is a marked change from traditional safety systems that focus solely on employees.
The decision to redesign our approach to safety spurred from a mandate by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health to reduce the number of on-the-job injuries for healthcare workers. Injury rates of healthcare workers are amongst the highest of any industry in Saskatchewan.
Work on redesigning the SMS has been broken down into six elements. The first element, management commitment and leadership, was completed at the end of 2016 and produced a series of important documents: safety rules; rights, responsibilities, and accountabilities of all individuals; an updated Safety Charter; and promotion of the Region’s safety logo. The five documents created for element one were prepared with input from Patient and Family Centred Care representatives, staff, management, members of the Cypress Regional Health Authority board, and SEIU-West.
With work completed on the first element we are now rolling out the Safety Management System to all of our facilities. Focus has shifted towards elements two, three, and four which include hazard identification and control, training and communications, and inspections. Finally, elements five and six which focus on incident reporting, investigations, and emergency response, will be completed by the end of June 2017.