Conference looks to improve patient safety

Conference looks to improve patient safety McGill University

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McGill Reporter
October 11, 2007 - Volume 40 Number 04
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Home > McGill Reporter > Volume 40: 2007-2008 > October 11, 2007 > Conference looks to improve patient safety

Conference looks to improve patient safety

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The Montreal Neurological Institute launched its $40-million ‘Thinking Ahead' Campaign on Oct. 1. From left to right: Dr David R. Colman, MNI Director, with Campaign Co-chairs Dominic D'Alessandro, President & CEO Manulife Financial and Jacques Bougie, former President & CEO, Alcan Inc. The team has already raised $20 million with lead gifts from Manulife Financial, Mr. D'Alessandro himself, Dr Brenda Milner, The Cyril & Dorothy and Joel & Jill Reitman Family Foundation, Dr Shirley Rayport, The J.W. McConnell Family Foundation, The Molson Foundation and the Estates of Dorothy Sexton and John Gordon.

While many observers look at the Canadian health care system and shout "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" a consortium of McGill medical experts is trying to improve the system from within.

On Oct. 17, the The McGill Educational Initiative on Interprofessional Collaboration is hosting "Addressing Patient Safety: An Interprofessional Imperative," a one-day conference designed to bring together professionals from all medical disciplines to exchange ideas and experiences in ensuring safe patient care. Itself a working model of collaboration, the project is jointly run by McGill's Faculty of Medicine, the School of Nursing, and the School of Physical and Occupational Therapy.

Within the medical community, there is a growing concern that increased specialization among health care professionals is being mirrored by a gradual breakdown of communication between clinicians in different fields. Patients frequently complain about hospital visits in which they are shuttled from one department to another with little rhyme or reason. "We want to encourage clinicians to work together in order to improve patients' safety within the clinical setting," says Calen Lau, one of the conference organizers.

Distinguished keynote speakers, Dr Susan Brien (The Canadian Patient Safety Institutes' Director of Operations for Quebec, Atlantic Canada & Nunavut), and Dr John HV Gilbert (Principal & Professor Emeritus, College of Health Disciplines, UBC), will look at the issues of patient safety and interprofessionalism respectively. There will also be panel discussions between practitioners and administrators from the McGill University Health Centre and the Jewish General Hospital. Finally, attendees will participate in a live re-enactment of a crisis event with the collaboration of the McGill Medical Simulation Centre, designed to illustrate what happens when communication breaks down.

Addressing Patient Safety: An Interprofessional Imperative; Oct 17; Salle Ambassadeur, Holiday Inn, 420 Sherbrooke Street West. To register or for more information, go to

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