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August 20, 2014

Health Quality Council launches first Saskatchewan Change Day

People working in Saskatchewan’s health care system, and those who access care, are being encouraged to pledge to do one small thing to make the health system better, as part of a new campaign called Saskatchewan Change Day.

Saskatchewan Change Day will be held on Nov. 6, 2014. The campaign, which is organized by the province’s Health Quality Council, is an exciting initiative modelled after the highly successful NHS Change Day in the United Kingdom. Change Day is about trying something new or making one small change to improve the lives of patients, family members and health care workers.

“While health system transformation requires large improvement initiatives, the small actions we take and the things we say every day also matter. Combined, those small actions can make a big difference,” said Dr. Susan Shaw, HQC board chair.

Shaw, who practices critical care and anesthesiology in Saskatoon Health Region, has pledged to spend an hour in an intensive care unit (ICU) bed “paying attention to what it might feel like to be one of our patients.” Meanwhile, Bonnie Brossart, HQC’s chief executive officer, has pledged to “return any abandoned wheelchair back to its ‘home’ unit so that patients and staff don’t have to go looking for one.”

“Through Change Day, we want to inspire and excite people about the power within them to make a difference,” Brossart said. “Change Day is a positive social movement that everyone can participate in.”

From now until Change Day, people can make pledges online at www.skchangeday.com and act on their pledges any time until Nov. 6.

More than 300 pledges have been made since Saskatchewan Change Day was launched at the provincial Health Care Quality Summit in May. Here are some examples of the pledges that have been made by health care workers, patients and family members:

  • I pledge to ask one patient every day how their experience was and what we could have done differently.
  • I pledge to make all residents and family members feel welcome to our facility with a hello and a smile.
  • I pledge to spend time with a long-term care resident each day.
  • I pledge to ask my family doctor if I can provide her with feedback and support to help improve patient experiences in her clinic.
  • I pledge to say something positive to a co-worker each day.

Once a pledge is made, the pledger is encouraged to share it with others in person and on social media. For example, people can follow Saskatchewan Change Day on Twitter (@SKChangeDay) and find it on Facebook by searching for “Saskatchewan Change Day.” Pledgers can also download the free OneStory app and use it to share their pledges by recording videos.

Complete information about making and sharing pledges is available on the Saskatchewan Change Day website at www.skchangeday.com.

Since the NHS in the U.K. held its first Change Day on March 13, 2013, Change Days have been held in Australia and Sweden. Saskatchewan’s Change Day will be the first in Canada.

“Let’s work together to make Saskatchewan Change Day a success,” said Shaw. “Make your pledge, share it widely, act on it and see what happens!”

HQC is an independent agency that measures and reports on quality of care in Saskatchewan, promotes improvement and engages its partners in building a better, safer health system for patients.