Welcome to Healthcare Safety Info-eLink™
To achieve patient care excellence, improving the quality of occupational health and safety in healthcare must be a priority.
My goal in this effort is to provide a high quality comprehensive user-friendly website with well-organized Internet links to credible sources of health and safety information primarily related to healthcare. Healthcare Safety Info-eLink™ is a not-for-profit service for occupational health and safety professionals and other stakeholders who are committed to advancing safe working conditions in the healthcare industry.
Maximize Efforts to Improve Quality of Patient Care in Hospitals through improving Healthcare Workplace Health and Safety Conditions and Practices. To close the gap between best practice and common practice by encouraging healthcare providers and their organizations to spread successful innovations and new ideas.
Data on the Canadian workforce has consistently indicated that healthcare workers are at greater risk of workplace injuries and more mental health problems than any other occupational group (Health Canada). In the U.S. for example:
Health Care is the second-fastest-growing sector of the U.S. economy, employing over 12 million workers. Women represent nearly 80% of the health care work force. Health care workers face a wide range of hazards on the job, including needlestick injuries, back injuries, latex allergy, violence, and stress. Although it is possible to prevent or reduce health care worker exposure to these hazards, health care workers actually are experiencing increasing numbers of occupational injuries and illnesses. Rates of occupational injury to health care workers have risen over the past decade. By contrast, two of the most hazardous industries, agriculture and construction, are safer today than they were a decade ago
In addition to this unacceptable situation, many patients suffer preventable care-related adverse events (AEs) during hospitalization. AEs among hospital patients are unintended injuries or complications resulting in death, disability or prolonged
hospital stay that arise from health care management. A study in 2004 funded by
CIHI and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research found that 7.5% of
adult medical or surgical patients suffered adverse events in hospital, about one third
of which were deemed preventable. Although most patients recover within six
months, each year between 9,250 and 23,750 Canadian adults experience a
“preventable” adverse event in hospital and later die, according to the study (Baker et al. 2004). In Canada, healthcare associated infections (HCAI's) or nosocomial infections, affect more than 220,000 people annually resulting in excess of 8,000 deaths in Canadian hospitals each year. Therefore, patient safety in Canadian
healthcare organizations has become an increasingly important topic and led to the recent
creation of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute. To address the issue of identifying strategies for improving patient
care, much valuable effort has been focused on application of new technologies, developing better
communication and coordination among clinicians, and creation of
a patient adverse (sentinel) event information database to be shared by hospitals for learning purposes
Canadian College of Health Service Executives (ppt). However, a growing body of research indicates that healthcare worker health and safety conditions are
not just an important but an essential factor associated with the quality of patient care (Yassi A.). Specifically, efforts to increase the quality of hospital occupational health and safety conditions and practices can be expected to have a direct positive impact on patient safety outcomes and an overall reduction in healthcare costs. Since knowledge is an essential component required for advancing this valuable concept to its maturity, this webservice was founded to provide a simplified and efficient means
of accessing useful healthcare occupational, environmental and related safety information.
Christopher Lipowski, ASM(C), CRSP
“Why do we chose to work in healthcare? Because it gives us a chance to make a difference in the lives of others during our short time on earth. If enough of us do that, we will make this world a better place for our children and grandchildren.”
~ Quint Studer
The Quality Worklife-Quality Healthcare Collaborative defines a healthy healthcare workplace as: A work setting that takes a strategic and comprehensive approach to providing the physical, cultural, psychosocial and work/job design conditions that maximize health and well-being of healthcare providers, quality of patient outcomes and organizational performance. “A fundamental way to better healthcare is through healthier healthcare workplaces. It is unacceptable to work in, receive care in, govern, manage and fund unhealthy healthcare workplaces.” –
"Culture clearly announces every day to every worker whether safety is a key value...it determines the extent of casualties, trauma disorders, stress claims and compensation paid...and it dictates whether elements of a safety system succeed or fail. The goal is to change your companyís culture until safety becomes an internal value that is incorporated in every plan, decision, and work activity. In the new safety culture, every employee will know that the only way to do anything is safely."
— Dr. Dan Petersen
“Safety is a positive cultural element that leads to other business improvements. Management that cannot manage safety cannot manage other functions. Employees need to know that they are important and that management cares about
— Ted Pattenden, CEO, National Rubber Industries
“Unsafe acts are like mosquitoes. You can try to swat them one at a time, but there will always be others to take their place. The only effective remedy is to drain the swamps in which they breed. In the case of errors and violations, the "swamps" are equipment designs that promote operator error, bad communications, high workloads, budgetary and commercial pressures, procedures that necessitate their violation in order to get the job done, inadequate organization, missing barriers, and safeguards . . . the list is potentially long but all of these latent factors are, in theory, detectable and correctable before a mishap occurs.”
— James T. Reason.
“Primum non nocerum. (First do no harm)”
“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.”
~ Albert Einstein
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
~ Martin Luther King Jr.
“"To be persuasive we must be believable;
to be believable we must be credible;
to be credible we must be truthful."
~ Edward R. Murrow
Patient Safety Information
This website, founded and managed by
Chris Lipowski ASM(C), CRSP Occupational Health and Safety Consultant and former
McGill University Health and Safety Officer, is dedicated to the memory of Z.J. Lipowski, M.D. author of
"The Theory of Attractive Stimulus Overload" and "Affluence, Information Inputs and Health"
Healthcare Safety Info-eLink™ — Pinnacle Enterprises Canada
Linkedin - Christopher Lipowski, ASM(C), CRSP
Presentations of Interest:
TED – Peter Attia: Is the obesity crisis hiding a bigger problem?
TED – Atul Gawande: How do we heal medicine?
TED – Abraham Verghese: A doctor's touch
TED – Paul Ewald: Can we domesticate germs?
YouTube — Safe and High Quality Health Care
YouTube EducationalChannel – The Ghost In Your Genes (Documentary)
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Last updated December 2013