Patient Safety Champion: Administrative assistant and site secretary Michelle MacDonald ‘plays a key role’ in keeping patients safe

Michelle MacDonald, administrative assistant and site secretary at Harbourview Hospital
Michelle MacDonald, administrative assistant and site secretary at Harbourview Hospital (contributed)

As the administrative assistant and site secretary at Harbourview Hospital in Sydney Mines, Michelle MacDonald has her hands in a bit of everything when it comes to safety. 

“I’m usually the first point of contact for any operational needs,” she said. “If something is required or needs attention I either address it personally or collaborate with the appropriate department.”

MacDonald’s role includes updating staff on policies, coordinating education sessions, and sitting on several committees.

These committees and teams include: eastern zone falls and pressure injury prevention committee, rehabilitation interdisciplinary quality improvement & safety team and climate adaptation leadership programs continuing care sector scan team. MacDonald is also the Harbourview site organizer for telehealth.

“Patient safety means everything,” MacDonald said. “If something is asked of me the first thing I think about is how this can be done safely and what we need to do to make it safe for patients and staff.”

Lorna O’Grady, manager of resident and long-term care at Harbourview, nominated MacDonald as a patient safety champion because of her ’dedication to the safety of all residents, clients, families and coworkers.’

“Michelle takes full accountability and responsibility for all operational requirements of the facility in absence of management and she plays a key role in the organization and delivery of quality improvement initiatives,” O’Grady said.

“She goes above and beyond to ensure the successful implementation of all new initiatives to improve client and resident safety and service delivery.”

MacDonald was surprised to learn that she was nominated, “Receiving this award has made me sit down and reflect on my job and the things I do to ensure our patients are safe.”

“I think that everyone who works here is a safety champion,” she says. “Because we are a smaller site we are all in this together and all own our own piece of safety.”

“It really takes the entire staff – so I share this award with them.” 

Thank you Michelle, for your dedication to patient safety!