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CHEO Continues to Enhance Patient Safety
OTTAWA – The Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) has recently launched two new initiatives – a patient safety ambassadors program and a family-activated critical care response team – as part of its on-going commitment to patient safety.

Response Team

Parents can now activate CHEO’s SPOT Team, a critical care response team consisting of a physician, nurse and respiratory therapist -- all specially trained to respond to serious emergencies.

CHEO always strives to provide the safest, highest-quality care, but no one knows a child better than his or her own parents. CHEO is giving parents a new way to call for immediate help if they think their child’s health is deteriorating and needs urgent attention – empowering them to make important decisions as part of their child’s medical team.

The SPOT Team itself has been around for a while, with any CHEO health care provider calling on the team when urgent response is needed. Now parents have the power to call SPOT themselves.

“This new method of family activation will ensure CHEO delivers the best and safest care possible,” said Dr. Anna-Theresa Lobos, Medical Director of the SPOT Team, CHEO. “Sometimes it is parents that can best pick up on important clues because they know their own child better than anyone. That’s why parents are considered key members of their child’s medical team – and why family activation of SPOT is so important.”

The purpose of the SPOT Team is not to replace the care being provided by the child’s medical team, but rather to complement this care by putting an additional patient safety measure in place.

CHEO established the SPOT Team in 2006. Over a four-year period, the number of patients readmitted to the PICU has dropped 4.8 per cent because the deterioration of patients’ condition is caught and reported sooner.

Patient Safety Ambassadors

In keeping patient safety at the top of its agenda, CHEO also launches a new Patient Safety Ambassador program. CHEO’s Patient Safety Ambassadors are community volunteers who help ensure that patients and families are aware of their roles in maintaining a safe environment.

These ambassadors will inform families how they can assist through practices relating to infection control, proper patient identification, preventing falls, raising concerns, and activating SPOT.

At this stage, Patient Safety Ambassadors are visiting the medical and surgical inpatient units and some ambulatory clinics. Following an evaluation of the benefits, CHEO hopes to expand this role to more areas of the hospital.

“Patient safety is at its highest when everyone caring for the child is well-informed and is an active member of the care team,” says David Creery, Medical Director of Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Medical Director of Patient Safety. “Together, we’re working to make our patients as safe as possible, and to give them the highest quality care.”

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For more information contact:

Marie Belanger
Media relations
(613) 737-2343

Alyssa Nader
Communications Coordinator
(613) 737-7600 x 3785
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