Innovative video empowers patients to be safety superheroes

25 February 2016

Queensland children are set to lead the way as ‘safety superheroes’ and help keep themselves safe in hospital, following the launch today of an Australian-first healthcare initiative at the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital.

The innovative Young Person’s Safety Briefing video will be shown to all patients and families when they are admitted to hospital to increase awareness of common patient safety issues and what they can do to avoid them.

Inspired by the safety briefings provided to airline passengers before take-off, the two-and-a-half-minute animation uses superhero characters to teach patients to:

• Wash their hands to prevent the spread of infection (and ask others to do the same)
• Check their patient identification wristband has the correct details
• Tell someone straight away if they are in pain and/or start to feel worse
• Tell someone straight away if their IV lines start to itch or hurt (this can be a sign of infection)
• Stay active and change position to avoid pressure ulcers (or bed sores)
• Ask sick visitors to stay at home so they don’t spread infection in the hospital

The safety briefing is the result of an world-first international collaboration between the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital and the UK’s Birmingham Children’s Hospital and Haelo, an innovation and improvement science centre in Salford, UK.

Young people from both hospitals worked with patient safety experts to develop the animation, which will be shown to every patient and their family as part of the hospitals’ admission processes.

An accompanying A4-sized safety card will also be located at every bedside to reinforce the message.

Children’s Health Queensland’s Executive Director of Medical Services, Dr Andrew Hallahan said the animation offered a fresh and engaging way to improve communication with families to ensure every child had the safest possible hospital stay.

“Patient safety is always our number one priority. We know that coming to hospital is often a difficult and overwhelming time for families, and it can be challenging to take in all the information they are told or given to read when they are admitted,” he said.

“The Young Person’s Safety Briefing is a quick and easy way to communicate key safety messages, and better equip patients and families with the knowledge of what they can do for themselves and when they should ask for help.

‘Everyone has an important role to play in patient safety and this new approach fits with our commitment to work closely with children, young people and their families as partners in their own healthcare.”

Almost 500 patients at both hospitals were consulted during development of the video to test retention and understanding of the information, perceived behavioural changes and feeling of safety watching the briefing.

More than 75 per cent of patients surveyed at both hospitals reported feeling safer after having a safety briefing. Furthermore, 60 per cent of patients and families tested at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital said they would change their behaviour after having a safety briefing.

The Young Person’s Safety Briefing can be viewed at: www.childrens.health.qld.gov.au/home/lcch/patients-families-visitors/staying-safe-in-hospital/

The animation will be made available to paediatric wards in Queensland Health hospitals across the state.

Interested hospitals should contact the Children’s Health Queensland Patient Safety and Quality Service on 3068 4952 or email CHQ_PSQS@health.qld.gov.au

ENDS

Media contact: 3068 65608 / 0403 384 442