System Safety Advisor
As a nurse in acute care settings Sharon spent twenty years providing care to patients primarily on surgical and women’s health units in Ontario and Manitoba. After completing her Bachelor of Nursing degree at the University of Manitoba in 1998, she began work as a research coordinator and for twelve years ran clinical trials studying quality of life issues for palliative care patients, as well as treatments for venous thromboembolism, diabetes and osteoporosis. During that time she developed an interest in healthcare ethics. She joined the St. Boniface Hospital’s ethics committee where she was an active member for over a decade, including as chair. She also developed and taught a twelve-week course in research ethics and lectured within the research community on this subject.
In 2007 she joined the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (WRHA) as a Patient Safety Consultant. Certified as a Critical Incident Investigator, she has investigated and provided written reports on over one hundred and fifty adverse events, and consulted on a number of near misses and patient complaints. She received certification from the Canadian Institute for Health Care Communication in Disclosure of Unanticipated Medical Outcomes (DUMO) and has led workshops on disclosure of medical errors for physicians, administrators and managers from all clinical programs, including nursing, pharmacy, and patient relations.
Sharon has interviewed hundreds of healthcare staff, physicians, administrators, patients, families and clinical experts while investigating adverse events, gaining a wealth of experience and insight. She also conducted education sessions on patient safety reporting and review processes, human factors, application of critical incident review information, disclosure of medical error and Medication Reconciliation. In collaboration with hospital and WRHA administration she also worked to apply the learning from adverse event reviews to initiatives to reduce harm, including initiatives for patients affected by acute myocardial infarction, central-line associated bloodstream infections, falls and medication errors, as well as developing the role of rapid response teams, surgical safety checklists and improving treatment of venous thromboembolism. Such collaboration remains critical to healthcare system safety and ethical care.