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8. Health leaders share approaches that support the delivery of safe, quality care for all

The major priority for every leader’s mind for 2022 is their people and the communities they serve. How can health leaders best support the mental health and safety of healthcare workers, patients, and communities? And what does patient and family involvement look like in this context? 

Join this presentation panel for an engaging conversation featuring Canadian CEOs and moderated by Accreditation Canada and Health Standards Organization’s CEO Leslee J. Thompson. Panelists will share experiences and lessons learned from prioritizing people, safety and quality improvement during the pandemic.


Attendees will learn through the voices of peer CEOs:


1.    How health leaders used levers of change to best support the mental health and safety of healthcare workers, patients, and communities, and

2.    Lessons learned in pandemic human resource strategies (HHR) and how to maintain quality care and safe care for care workers, patients and communities.  


The dimensions of safety extend to more than physical safety and includes emotional, psychological, and cultural safety for both patients, providers and their support networks.  Safety of providers is essential in providing safe, quality care (WHO, 2020). However, in times when HHR has been a significant priority for leaders, what were some approaches used support provider safety and deliver safe, quality care, even during a pandemic? 


Attendees will learn foundational tools, processes, and evidence-based practices that some leaders have used through the pandemic to support their successful delivery of health services. Examples include leveraging staff engagement to reduce risk and focus on quality improvement and safety to create better outcomes. Attendees will also learn about “soft skills” and overall approaches that helped to reinforce quality, safety, and camaraderie in a time where it is too easy to feel isolated and alone.


CEOs will share outcomes and lessons learned of the impact of prioritizing HHR strategies, along with strategy to support quality and safety. For example, teams shared they felt reduced stress when focusing on quality and patient safety improvements. Others commented on the value of a revised accreditation survey approach that validated best practices, given the current context. One experience includes the delivery of a revised approach performed by a peer health leader who understood the current HHR challenges in providing quality and safe care in a pandemic and acted as an independent external surveyor for Accreditation Canada. A revised approach understanding the COVID-19 context enabled rich learnings and conversations from the front-line to the executive team. 


As leaders of the health care system with a collective goal to provide safe and quality care, we can partner and do things differently so that during these times of high risk, quality improvement and safety remains paramount. Leaders will leave with ideas and examples they can use to support the mental health and safety of healthcare workers, patients, and communities. Attendees will leave feeling motivated to continue to focus on what matters most: engaging and supporting care providers to deliver safe, quality care for all.



Leslee J. Thompson - CEO, Accreditation Canada and Health Standards Organization



Andy Smith - President and CEO, Sunnybrook

Antoine Désilets - General director, Société Santé en Français

Francois Belanger - Vice President and Chief Medical Officer, Alberta Health Services (AHS)

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