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9/25/2017 6:00 PM

Ottawa – Investing in patient safety now will result in healthcare savings down the road, in terms of patient harm and money, according to a report released today titled, "The Case for Investing in Patient Safety."

Published by Risk Analytica, experts in the science of applied risk management, the report pulls no punches when it comes to the threats posed by harm in healthcare, as well as the significantly higher healthcare costs that result from patient safety incidents.

The report estimates that over the next 30 years, 12.1 million Canadians will be harmed by the healthcare system, 1.2 million Canadians will lose their lives to a patient safety incident within acute and home care settings, and that patient safety incidents will cost the health care system $82B (not counting inflation). It also states there could be roughly 400,000 average annual cases of patient safety incidents costing around $6,800 per patient and generating an additional $2.75 billion in healthcare treatment costs per year.

Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) CEO Chris Power says the assertions made in the report are not to be taken lightly.

"While these figures may be jarring, it`s not to​o late to do something about them. Every one of the patient safety incidents in question, along with the costs incurred, is preventable," says Chris Power. "For years, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute has built its reputation on delivering evidenced-based tools and resources to healthcare organizations and healthcare providers so that they can provide the very safest care to their patients. While that part of our work must continue, governments must also turn their attention toward making patient safety an issue that can no longer be ignored."

The report goes on to state that although impact data on CPSI's programs are limited, there is some promising preliminary information. Over the course of the Safer Healthcare Now! program, the mean rate of catheter line infections decreased from 2.4 per 1,000 catheter days to 1.5, which, had the status quo continued over the five-year period, would have cost the healthcare system approximately $20 million.

"The Canadian Patient Safety Institute has a proven track record of success and we are committed to continuing to improve patient safety with every available resource," says Chris Power. "Our recently unveiled 2018-19 Strategic Plan Patient Safety Right Now is going to get us there and create real, lasting change in Canada's healthcare system."

About Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI)

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) is a not-for-profit organization that exists to raise awareness and facilitate implementation of ideas and best practices to achieve a transformation in patient safety. CPSI reflects the desire to close the gap between the healthcare we have and the healthcare we deserve. CPSI would like to acknowledge funding support from Health Canada. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada. www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca

For media inquiries, please contact:
Cecilia Bloxom
Senior Director, Strategic Communications
Canadian Patient Safety Institute
Phone (780) 700-8642