|“It was very valuable, because it reinforced the things we had in place, and showed areas where we were lacking,” says Janice Wallace, a clinical nurse educator at Evergreen Baptist, in White Rock. “It opened my eyes to what we need to do.”
The “it” that Janice refers to is a new Safety Systems Audit Tool developed by SafeCare BC, and recently piloted at four organizations, representing both home care and support and long-term care. Once the audit tool is refined further, based on feedback from the pilot group, it will be available to SafeCare BC members, along with the supporting training.
The tool can be used by organizations to perform a self-audit to help identify opportunities for health and safety improvement, but should only be employed when an organization has a basic safety program in place.
Evergreen Baptist wanted to evaluate its occupational health and safety system, and improve its programs, and saw this as a great opportunity to do so in a staff-led way. SafeCare BC’s Safety Systems Audit Tool provided the perfect environment to achieve this. “We wanted to know where we were doing well and what areas needed improving,” says Janice. “This would tell us if we were going in the right direction.”
Following the audit tool training course, participants completed a shortened “student” audit within their organization. Janice adds that they had never done an internal audit before, and was pleased with the information they learned. “Even from the student audit, there were some things we could action,” she says. “And by taking the training, I was able to network and learn from others experiencing the same issues.”
The response to the audit at Evergreen Baptist was generally positive, with many expressing how good this was for the organization. Having strong buy-in from senior leaders was important. Janice’s advice for those considering an audit of your own is to make sure more than one person from the organization does the training, so it will be easier to implement the strategies and projects that are identified in your audit.