PFCC - Newsletter

You can learn about Patient and Family Centred Care activities at Alberta Children's Hospital by reading our monthly e-newsletter - Together We're Better. This newsletter will give you insight into Family Centred Care Initiatives, profile our Family Centred Care champions, and keep you up to date on upcoming education opportunities. Archived copies are available on the FCRC website.

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June 2021 Edition
Who's Behind the Mask
The ACH NICU Parents Partnership in Care Committee has tackled the challenge of helping patients and staff get a better idea of who is behind the mask. The committee of healthcare staff and family advisors had seem similar initiatives so they partnered with the Patient and Family Centred Care team and added photographs to buttons that can be pinned on a staff member's shirt.

Families have appreciated being able to connect a face with a person. They are often observed looking directly at the badge while in conversation with someone!

Other staff in the hospital have seen the NICU buttons and are starting to ask for their own. To inquire about the process for your team to get a button contact the PFCC Team.
Working Together to Prevent Infection
Central line-associated bloodstream infections (CLABSI) are serious infections that occur when germs (usually bacteria or viruses) enter the bloodstream through the central line. At the Alberta Children’s Hospital (ACH), optimal safety practices to prevent conditions like CLABSI are part of routine care. ACH is working with patients and their caregivers to be part of the CLABSI prevention effort.

Most recently, the Safest Together - CLABSI working group developed the “Caring for Your Central Venous Access Device (CVAD) at Home Checklist” to guide the CVAD discharge teaching. The working group performed a stakeholder review including families, consulted with other SPS centers, and reviewed the literature to help guide the decision to transition to the use of sterile dressing trays in the home, utilizing an “all in one” sterile dressing tray.

Over the next month, feedback from healthcare staff and patients and families will collected on the introduction of the new resources and the use of the sterile dressing tray. The final checklist will be available online for families.

Safest Together is constantly working to adopt evidence-based practices that have been shown to reduce hospital acquired harm. By participating in this initiative and involving families as part of our safety team we get one more step closer to reaching zero CLABSIs at ACH.
Welcome Virginia Mclaughlin - New Clinical Ethicist at ACH
Virginia McLaughlin is the new Clinical Ethicist for the Alberta Children’s Hospital, taking over from Kimberley Stever. Virginia started her career as a registered nurse in the NICU at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, and then went on to complete a Masters of Health Sciences in Bioethics from the University of Toronto. Following graduation, she came to Alberta for a fellowship in Clinical Ethics. After completion of her fellowship, Virginia worked for one year as a Nurse Navigator in the Calgary Zone before returning to work with the Clinical Ethics Service.

AHS physicians, staff, patients, and families can access the Clinical Ethics Service to receive support and assistance in ethically challenging situations. Ethically challenging situations in healthcare are the times when there are difficult, value-laden decisions to make with no clear answers, or when underlying beliefs and values are in conflict. 
Help Needed to Recruit Patient and Family Advisors
Do you know someone who would like to use their lived experiences as an ACH patient or family member to help improve the overall patient and family experience? Please share these opportunities with them!

Child and Youth Advisory Council (CAYAC) - This group meets six times a year on Saturday's to provide their input and feedback. For the fall, we are especially looking for younger youth ages 12-15 and for youth who live in Southern Alberta (Red Deer south).

Family Advisory Council (FAC) - We are adding new members to this group which meets monthly on a Tuesday evening. Our greatest need is for more fathers to join us!

E-Advisors - This a flexible way to provide input and feedback. You respond via email based on your availability and time. A few hours a year can make a big difference.

Please introduce perspective advisors to us via email ( and we will tell them more about the roles.
Summer Break
Wishing all of you a wonderful summer! May you enjoy some summer fun and relaxation whether in your backyard or on adventures further afield. Our team is looking forward to some time to regroup and to take some time off. This newsletter will be on a break too for July and August and will return in early September. As always, please let us know if you have some suggestions for content.