How a musical performance led to a valuable collaboration for children's health

This story is part of a series led by Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP) about efforts being made across Canada and beyond to mobilize evidence-based solutions through coordination and collaboration. To learn more about 100+ groups working to improve children’s pain management, click here.

One of SKIP’s partners, the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP) Canada, is proving that improving children’s pain management is exciting work!

In the fall of 2020, SKIP collaborated with Healthcare Excellence Canada (HEC) to identify and broaden awareness of virtual care innovations for children in pain, their families, and care partners. The call for innovations was a response to the increased use of virtual pediatric chronic pain prevention and management necessitated by the pandemic.

One very memorable submission came from ISMP Canada, one of the participants in a Dragons’
-style pitch presentation during the 2020 Children Healthcare Canada’s Annual Conference. Alice Watt, ISMP Canada’s Senior Medication Safety Specialist, and Melissa Sheldrick, Patient and Family Advisor, delivered a pitch during which Alice sang a song about their innovation.

“We wanted to change it up!” says Alice. “We loved doing something exciting and meeting all of the other presenters. It was such a great experience!”

They presented the MyMedRec app, a portable and up-to-date health record that can be easily shared with family, doctors, nurses, and pharmacists, which provides reminders for when to take a dose and when to refill a prescription. The innovation won the People’s Choice Award at the
virtual event, and the team’s entertaining presentation made waves throughout the conference.

“We had attended the Opioids and Our Children scoping meeting in early 2020, so our partnership with SKIP was already having great outcomes,” says Melissa. “But we had such a great time through the pitch event that when we started thinking about developing a new resource, SKIP came to mind immediately.”

The result? SKIP joined the development panel for 5 questions to ask about your medications, which has been translated into thirty languages, including Cree, Urdu, and Korean.

“We’ve learned so much from SKIP and how they communicate with patients and their families,” says Alice.

“I realized we needed one-pagers for all of our projects! It’s helpful for people to see things at a glance.”

Melissa notes that the ISMP Canada team has learned a lot from SKIP’s “openness to new ideas.”

“We have developed partnerships with other organizations that we would not have otherwise made if not for our collaborations, conversations, and relationship with SKIP.”