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Safety Alert/Stop the Line

What is the Safety Alert/Stop the Line strategy?

Improving the safety in health care environments is a top priority in Saskatchewan. The Safety Alert/Stop the Line (SA/STL) strategy is a provincial initiative that intends to build a safety culture and make health care environments safer for patients, staff, and providers. The Safety Alert/Stop the Line Initiative encompasses processes, policies, and behavioural expectations that support patients, staff, and physicians to be safety inspectors, to identify and fix potentially harmful mistakes in the moment, or to stop the line and call for additional help to restore safety. High reliability organizations, characterized by near zero safety incidents, have demonstrated the effectiveness of these tactics. Implementation of SA/STL will help Saskatchewan’s health system to achieve zero harm to patients and staff by 2020.

Saskatoon Health Region, which serves as the provincial model line, is testing and evaluating how to optimize many of the SA/STL processes. Evidence-based processes to improve safety, such as the use of daily visual management, are being implemented in all health regions.

Safety leaders across the province are committed to working collaboratively through a community of practice – the SA/STL Network – to adopt standard policies and processes to ensure that patients and staff across Saskatchewan experience the same safe care. The SA/STL Initiative project team, located at the Health Quality Council, supports the Network, connects with provincial leaders, and helps to align the SA/STL work with other quality improvement initiatives across the province.

Making health care settings SAFER is everyone’s responsibility.

SAFER means:

S: Stop if you see something that is unsafe.                                                                          

A: Assess the situation. Ask for support from others, supervisors, or leaders.

F: Fix the unsafe situation if you can. If you can’t, then . . .

E: Escalate your concern. Call in help from a team member or leader.

R: Report unsafe situations, environments, and practices, including both instances of no harm and incidents that have resulted in harm to patients or staff. We can’t improve what we don’t know about.


Click here to watch a video on Safety Alert/Stop the Line.

We are proud to be contributing to a national Action Plan on patient safety

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