Responding to Adverse Events

This case is based on an event that occurred within a Health Region encompassing several communities and supporting approximately 250,000 people.

The Situation

Through a routine evaluation of medical instrument processing it was discovered that a medical device used to support secondary screening of patients undergoing assessment for cancer had not been properly cleaned leading to possible cross contamination placing patients at risk for infection. The Health region made the determination that every person impacted by the procedure should undergo screening blood work to identify anyone that may have been adversely impacted.

Sykes Assistance Services was contacted and asked to set up an information and referral service to ensure that people both residing in the region and those that may have undergone the procedure but subsequently moved away could have access information and reassurance. To facilitate access to the laboratory procedure the response team determined that people should be able to book an appointment so that they could get the blood work completed with as little inconvenience to them as possible.  

The Solution

To support the expected high volume of calls Sykes Assistance Service created a queue of trained nurses and Health Services Representatives (HSRs) from several of its sites, including  work from home, across multiple jurisdictions.  We also developed and implemented automated messaging so that people could anonymously educate themselves on the issues at their own leisure without talking to a live agent. The information provided by the messaging platform and the live agents was based on that developed for the Region’s web site. Due to the serious nature of the event Sykes Assistance Services was asked to set up the phone system, train the agents and staff for go live within two weeks of the discovery of the problem.

The Outcomes

Over the course of three weeks the service was staffed with trained agents, appropriate scripting developed, appointment setting system created and implemented, electronic decision support customized, and reporting designed and implemented. Over the course of several weeks all patients that responded to the campaign were reached and screened.