Health Canada

Health Canada

October 28, 2013 11:23 ET

Harper Government Takes Steps to Improve Patient Safety

Helping to prevent and reduce harm to Canadians

EDMONTON, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - Oct. 28, 2013) - Today, the Honourable Rona Ambrose, Minister of Health, attended the opening of Canada's Virtual Forum on Patient Safety and Quality to kick off Canadian Patient Safety Week and announce $38.1 million over five years in funding for the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) to help improve patient safety.

"We all have a role to play when it comes to patient safety," said Minister Ambrose. "Today's announcement will help lead to system wide change, by developing and sharing new knowledge and innovative best practices to reduce harm and improve the care Canadians receive."

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute will lead a new strategy to address key areas that will lead to better and faster improvements in patient safety. The strategy will initially focus on working with partners, including governments, healthcare practitioners and patients, to drive change in medication safety, surgical care safety, infection control and home care safety.

"The Canadian Patient Safety Institute interventions and programs help facilitate awareness, implementation, spread and sustainability of clinical quality improvement activities across all healthcare settings. Our Safer Healthcare Now! interventions reach thousands of Canadians every day, giving healthcare organizations the tools they need to prevent harmful incidents and to measure their progress," says Hugh MacLeod, CEO, CPSI. "We are also particularly proud of our efforts to make sure the needs of patients and their families are front and centre when action is taken on patient safety. Our patient-led program Patients for Patient Safety Canada uses real patient experiences to show the full impact that unsafe care can have on a patient's life."

See attached Fact Sheet for more information on funding for the CPSI.

Également offert en français

Fact Sheet October 2013

Health Canada news releases are available on the Internet at:

Canadian Patient Safety Institute

Helping to prevent and reduce harm to Canadians

The Government of Canada is providing the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) with $38.1 million over five years to support work to improve the safety of healthcare that Canadians receive.

CPSI was created to provide leadership in building a culture of patient safety and quality improvement in the Canadian healthcare system.

This funding will support CPSI in continuing its work, which includes:

  • Providing leadership and coordination of efforts to prevent and reduce harm to patients;
  • Emphasizing education, with a focus on developing curriculum and training programs;
  • Coordinating and supporting evidence-informed clinical interventions and programs;
  • Conducting research to increase the scope and scale of patient safety research, with a focus on creating tools and resources that can be applied by healthcare organizations

It will also support CPSI in leading the development of a new strategy that will identify priority patient safety areas most likely to lead to system-wide change and to work with its partners to increase the pace of safety improvements.

Since its creation in 2003, CPSI has successfully used federal funding to raise awareness of patient safety issues and drive the creation of a patient safety culture across the country, by:

  • Training patient safety experts within healthcare organizations;
  • Embedding requirements to develop safety competencies into medical and nursing education programs;
  • Developing tools to support patient safety improvement efforts;
  • Organizing national conferences and Canadian Patient Safety Week to share patient safety best practices; and
  • Ensuring the patient voice is not lost in the efforts to improve the safety and quality of care provided to Canadians.

For example:

  • CPSI's flagship initiative, Safer Healthcare Now!, has been voluntarily established in over 700 hospitals and community care settings, where teams use targeted interventions to reduce patient safety incidents (such as surgical site infections, ventilator associated pneumonia infection, and central line blood stream infections).
  • CPSI's interventions have been built into national accreditation standards - meaning that any healthcare organization who wants to be accredited must now incorporate safety interventions into its practices.
  • CPSI works with provincial and territorial governments to deliver tools and coordinate patient safety and quality improvement programs that support their priorities and/or those of healthcare organizations in their jurisdiction, such as Health Quality Councils.
  • CPSI led efforts to create the Canadian Disclosure Guidelines, which are used to provide clear and consistent approach for informing patients and the public when patient safety incidents occur.
  • Through its Patients for Patient Safety Canada program, CPSI supports patients and families in sharing their stories so that their perspective is included in quality improvement efforts.
  • CPSI has commissioned research in targeted, emerging patient safety areas including primary care, mental health, long term care, emergency medical services, paediatric care and the economics of patient safety.
  • CPSI raises awareness of patient safety and shares best practices by hosting the annual Virtual Forum on Patient Safety & Quality Improvement and Canadian Patient Safety Week.

Contact Information

  • Media Inquiries:
    Michael Bolkenius
    Office of the Honourable Rona Ambrose
    Federal Minister of Health
    (613) 957-0200

    Health Canada
    Media Relations
    (613) 957-2983

    Public Inquiries:
    (613) 957-2991
    1-866 225-0709