BC Patient Safety & Quality Council

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About The Council

In 2008 the British Columbia Patient Safety & Quality Council was created by the provincial government to enhance patient safety, reduce errors, promote transparency, and identify best practices to improve patient care. Ten years later, the Council continues to fulfil this mandate by advising the Minister of Health on patient safety and quality of care issues, as well as supporting initiatives that encourage collaboration and coordination from health system stakeholders throughout the province.

The Council believes a patient-centred, innovative, and inclusive approach from the province’s health care system is essential to improving quality of care. Drawing on its resources, relationships and the diverse expertise of its staff, the Council is at once a leader, an advisor, a partner, a facilitator, an educator and a supporter across a wide spectrum of initiatives.

Supporting Clinical Improvement

The Council coordinates a number of collaboratives whose passionate members are improving care in their clinical areas. For example, the BC Sepsis Network published a ‘Getting Started Kit’ for sepsis improvement in emergency departments as it raises awareness of the importance of identifying sepsis early and providing effective care. And the Surgical Quality Action Network is driving surgical improvement in BC by, among its many activities, supporting the implementation of the National Surgery Quality Improvement Program at 24 sites throughout the province as well as adoption of a pre-surgery checklist.

Building Capacity & Capability for Improving Quality

Driving quality requires knowledgeable and skilled people at all levels of BC’s health system, from medical students to hospital executives. The Council’s Quality Academy provides participants with the capability to effectively lead quality and safety initiatives; it currently features over 450 alumni. In 2012, the Council organized its first Quality Forum, an event that has since grown to feature over 1000 participants from across the province who gather to connect, share ideas and learn from fellow health care providers.

Building the Quality Community

Council staff members provide a quality improvement and patient safety voice on numerous committees and working groups. In addition, the Council’s communications vehicles are building a strong quality improvement network across the province. The Council’s newsletter distributes upcoming learning opportunities as well as health quality news and events. Through numerous social media outlets such as Twitter, the Council engages with health professionals, promotes news and events, and serves as a trusted source for quality improvement information. And the Council recently launched CLWK; its communities allow members province-wide to share information, distribute resources and support each other.

Pursuing Strategic Opportunities

The Council also reviews opportunities to improve the quality of care when asked to do so by the Minister of Health – recently, Doug Cochrane, our Chair and Provincial Patient Safety & Quality Officer, led a review of medical imaging, credentialing and quality assurance (part 1 | part 2). In 2013 the Council began leading a collaborative focused on dignity in residential care.

Bringing Innovation to BC

The opportunity for collaboration and sharing across Canadian quality councils and international organizations provides opportunities to bring resources, knowledge and expertise to BC. The Council participates on numerous national working groups and supports adaptation of national programs at the provincial level (such as Safer Healthcare Now!). For example, the Council has brought in expert speakers from the UK’s National Health Service and Utah’s Intermountain Healthcare to present at events like the Quality Forum and Board & Executive Learning Series.

At a Glance

“The BC Patient Safety & Quality Council provides key infrastructure that brings together people and organizations from across the province in the common pursuit of health quality. Working collectively, we can accelerate and improve our best efforts for the benefit of all British Columbians.”

Dr. Douglas Cochrane
Chair and Provincial Patient Safety & Quality Officer, BCPSQC