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​Canadian Patient Safety Institute

Safe care....accepting no less


The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) has over 10-years of experience in safety leadership and implementing programs to enhance safety in every part of the healthcare continuum.

A federally funded not-for-profit organization, CPSI offers products and programs focused on four priority areas: medication safety, surgical care safety, infection prevention and control, and home care safety. Its broad range of capabilities includes training safety officers, developing resources for frontline providers, and engaging with patients and their families.​


Our Programs​

 CPSI Latest News



Patient Safety Power Plays – November 201532573Patient Safety News Patient Safety Power Plays The results are in, and thanks once again to our partners, Canadian Patient Safety Week and Canada's Virtual Forum on Patient Safety and Quality Improvement are an unqualified success. Clearly, people are engaged in the journey to improve patient safety in the healthcare system. Whether by sharing information, creating videos, sending questions during the Forum, or tweeting their thoughts and ideas, people are showing us that patient safety matters deeply to them. We counted 1,100 viewers who logged on during the Forum on October 28-30th, 2015. And the Forum is not restricted to Canadian viewers alone people from seven countries tuned in to hear what our dedicated speakers had to share. This year we unveiled special videos sharing the stories of healthcare providers personally affected by tragic events while caring for patients and their families. It reminds me that patient safety is a concern for everyone involved in healthcare. I deeply appreciate the courage of anyone who chooses to share a personal story in order to help all of us think of ways to improve care. Thank you for taking the time to work toward such a challenging goal – safer healthcare for all. Do you have a personal highlight from Canadian Patient Safety Week and/or Canada's Virtual Forum? I'd love to hear from you. Email me at I would also like to remind you that the archive is available at Feel free to watch your favourite session again or use it for one of your patient safety opportunities. Yours in patient safety, Chris Power05/11/2015 4:00:00 PM05/11/2015 5:27:59 PM392
New Campaign Promotes Family Presence32566Patient Safety News On November 10, 2015, the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI), in partnership with the Institute for Patient- and Family-Centered Care and a dozen leading healthcare organizations across Canada launched the Better Together Partnering with Families campaign that encourages hospitals to adopt family presence policies that view family members as 'partners in care' rather than as 'visitors.' Family presence policies enable patients to designate family members or other caregivers to have unrestricted access to them while they are hospitalized. "Family presence is an innovative approach enabling family and loved ones to more fully participate in patient care by being present for physician rounds and helping their loved ones with transitions in care," says Stephen Samis, Vice President, Programs, CFHI. "Our polling shows that nine in 10 Canadians support family presence. We are encouraging hospitals to start a conversation with their patients, families and staff about making this change." Recent research shows that nearly half of Canadian hospitals have policies that are at least somewhat accommodating, with about a quarter of hospitals receiving top marks for having visiting policies that promote family presence and participation. Many leading hospitals have already adopted family presence policies in place of more traditional visiting hours, including Kingston General Hospital, Alberta Health Services South Campus and Providence Health Care in Vancouver, British Columbia. The family presence policy innovation is a practical step organizations can take to deliver more patient and family-centred care. Benefits of family presence include better informed assessments and care planning; lower readmission rates; fewer medication errors and improved medication adherence; maintaining cognitive function in seniors; fewer falls and other accidents; improved coordination of care; reduced lengths of stay and emergency department visits; decreased patient and family anxiety; improved organizational culture; and improved patient outcomes. "Patients are more comfortable, family members are less stressed, and emotional healing seems to be very positive," says Kathy Stewart, Patient Experience Advisor at Kingston General Hospital. "There's a real sense of collegiality and feeling that there's a team in place." This campaign is supported by leading healthcare organizations such as Accreditation Canada; B.C. Patient Safety & Quality Council; Canadian College of Health Leaders; Canada Health Infoway; Canadian Patient Safety Institute; Health Quality Council of Alberta; Imagine Project; Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety; Patients Canada; Patients for Patient Safety Canada; Registered Nurses' Association of Ontario; and the Saskatchewan Health Quality Council. Healthcare delivery organizations spanning the continuum of care – including hospitals, health authorities, long term care facilities and others – that are interested in adopting family presence policies are encouraged to take the Better Together pledge on CFHI's website. Pledging organizations will be recognized on the website and have the opportunity to become part of an online learning community to share strategies, challenges and successes. Pledging to the Better Together campaign consists of at least one of the following 1) A commitment at a healthcare leadership level to review their organization's current visiting hour policies and website with input from patients, families, clinicians and other staff, including those who have direct experience with 'visiting' policies; 2) A commitment to develop a family presence policy; and 3) A commitment to implement family presence policies and monitor impacts. The campaign is supporting healthcare organizations to make this change, providing free resources to hospitals to make the change and implement family presence policies. To learn more about the Better Together campaign and take the pledge, please visit http// 11:00:00 PM05/11/2015 6:52:20 PM418
Home Care Safety Falls Prevention Virtual Improvement Collaborative32568Safer Healthcare Now! Patient Safety News ​The Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Canadian Home Care Association and Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement have launched a new pan-Canadian initiative to prevent falls in the home. More than one third of Canadians aged 65 or older experience a fall, with half of these falls resulting in hospitalization taking place in or around the home. Fall-related injuries are the leading cause of injury for seniors across all Canadian provinces and territories and account for over 85 percent of all injury-related hospitalizations. Direct health care costs from falls among seniors are estimated to be $1 billion every year. Teams from Winnipeg Regional Health Authority (MB), St. Elizabeth Health Care (ON), Canadian Red Cross, VHA Home HealthCare (ON) and Eastern Health (NL) have been accepted into the first wave of the Home Care Safety Falls Prevention Virtual Improvement Collaborative focused on fall prevention and injury reduction. Working with the three partner organizations, the teams from will work from November 2015 to mid-2016 toIdentify client outcomes for home care clients at risk for falls;Adapt quality improvement approaches to the home care environment;Build quality improvement capacity - including measurement capacity - in the home care sector;Identify evidence, tools and resources for spread across Canada; andEngage patients and families in falls risk assessment and prevention. The work by the partner organizations and teams in the first wave of the collaborative could lead to an expanded collaborative - open to more organizations that provide home care services - later in 2016.04/11/2015 11:00:00 PM04/11/2015 10:33:50 PM159
Canada’s Virtual Forum on Patient Safety and Quality Improvement - When Workplace Joy Thrives, Patient Safety Comes Alive!32545Patient Safety News More than 500 sites and 1,000 viewers in five countries have tuned into Canada's Virtual Forum so far. Here's a recap of Day 2 Helen Bevan from the NHS began the day by introducing five directions in transformational leadership in healthcareDisruptive Change- change needs to happen more quickly.Digital Connection Healthcare work is becoming more complexPower of hierarchy is diminishing in healthcare organizationsChange is moving to the edge- Research and innovation functions that are usually in the centre of an organization are now on the edge. After explaining the approach to change between old power and new power, Helen concludes that change will happen more quickly in a new power world, where people are voluntarily connected through a shared purpose. "Be a rebel to inspire change." Dr. Ward Flemons began his powerful presentation with Greg Price's story to segue into the topic of Patient Safety 101. Dr. Ward proposes four big questions for patient safety and offers answersWhy does healthcare break? How do you make care safer? How do you respond when healthcare breaks?How do you create / promote a culture of safety? Dr. Flemons says that healthcare providers need to be doing more. "Saying sorry is one thing but if you don't do anything to rectify the situation, you haven't done much at all." He concludes with the powerful message "informed patients are safer patients." Next up was a powerful panel driving home the message that adverse events don't only cause harm to patients and families, they have a dramatic and lasting impact on the care providers within our health system. Often times the phenomenon of the second victim goes unnoticed causing dramatic personal and organizational consequences. Dr. Katrina Hurley spoke about her experience with patient harm and the lasting impact this adverse event had on her personally and professionally. Dr. Bruce MacLeod shared the journey that Alberta Health Services has undertaken to develop a framework to address this significant issue. Cheryl Connors, explained how to use the RISE Intervention (Resilience in Stressful Events -psychological support and emotional first aid) to support the recovery of healthcare workers suffering from second victim syndrome. Our next presenter was Sabina Robin sharing her personal story of loss and learning from the death of her daughter in the health system. Sabin discusses the importance of patient and family involvement through the adverse event process, right from the time of an error, through to the disclosure and learning process. Sabina emphasizes the importance of accountability, transparency, and support when a health related error occurs. Sabina shares the lesson, that healing cannot occur and learning will not take place until patients, families and health providers work through adverse events together as partners. We also heard three case studies focus on specific communication strategies implemented to improve patient safety and mitigate adverse events in medication management. Debra Merrill outlined the experience of the Royal Victoria Regional Health Centre in using a variety of communication techniques to successfully implement a comprehensive medication management system. In communicating change, it is imperative to answer three key questions what's changing, what's staying the same and what's in it for me? Lara Di Mambro explained how communication positively impacted patient safety during brand changes, backorders in medications or allocation changes at Huron Perth Healthcare Alliance. Communication strategies included the use of visual aids and electronic notifications. Roberta Baker described how the Nova Scotia Health Authority implemented specific communication strategies to ensure alignment with Accreditation Canada medication focused required organizational practices (ROPs). The organization's four pronged approach in addressing high alert medication classifications is shared. The next session was all about Nova Scotia. They recently underwent a significant change when the province brought nine health regions into one overall health region. This change impacted over 24,000 employees and meant a shift in how the delivery of care was provided. Throughout this time of significant change, Nova Scotia was able to sustain a consistent culture of safety and quality. Tracey Barbrick outlined the collaborative process the ten authorities and the government undertook over the course of a year to action this change. Successes of the process included government commitment, landmark legislation focused on quality, co-leadership model, streamlined labour environment and an ability to plan as one province. Catherine Gaulton identified that the focus in the early days of transition planning was to get the mission, vision, values (design principles) and the case for change clear. The importance of clear messages during times of change cannot be underestimated. In Nova Scotia those were "we cannot lose ground on patient safety and quality" and "don't stop doing anything you're doing for quality and patient safety." Tara Sampalli spoke about keeping initiatives on innovation, quality and safety moving forward during the change process. The example of a clinical initiative which won a 3M quality award during this transition time exemplified the sustained focus on quality and safety. Last up was Michel Tremblay delivering a French session on language barriers in healthcare and their impact on patient safety.30/10/2015 2:00:00 PM30/10/2015 1:35:15 PM361
Kari Bulger: A trailblazer in patient and family involvement32531Patient Safety News Kari Bulger is an invaluable patient and family advisor for Alberta Health Services (AHS) and a champion for bringing the patient perspective to many aspects of healthcare in Alberta. The Canadian Patient Safety Institute and HealthCareCAN are pleased to recognize Kari as an honourable mention recipient of the 2015 Patient Safety Champion Individual Award. "Kari's relentless passion to ensure the perspective of patients and families is consistently engrained within our day-do-day work is far-reaching and will have a substantial impact on our shared goal of partnering with patients and families to improve quality and safety, as well as the patient experience and outcomes," says Sean Chilton, Chief Zone Office, South Zone, Alberta Health Services. "She takes the time to understand all sides of an issue, is thoughtful and respectful, challenging each of us to consider the voice of patients and families in our work. Kari so deserves to be recognized for her contributions to patient and family engagement at AHS." Kari brings a unique perspective and has demonstrated significant leadership as a patient advisor at a provincial level that has helped to elevate and shape the role that advisors play across AHS. She played a pivotal role in the development of Quality Assurance Council (QAC) Engagement Guidebooks. Her ability to share her knowledge and insights about what advisors need to be successful in conjunction with the needs of other committee members and staff liaisons, will help to foster meaningful and sustainable partnerships for QACs and other committees, as well as build capacity within AHS. To advance systematic change, Kari has been integral in helping AHS operational and medical leaders understand gaps in care and services and co-developed strategies for creating a culture of engagement. She has participated on the Quality and Safety Executive Committee, providing oversight for quality of care monitoring and improving across all sectors; the Patient & Family Advisory Group, consulting on key organizational initiatives and policies, and providing advice on how to meaningfully engage and support patient and family advisors; the Action Learning Project for AHS Executive Leadership Development Program, assisting on the development of a measurement framework for patient and family-centred care; and the South Zone Quality Council, providing oversight for zone quality initiatives. She is also an effective spokesperson on behalf of patients and families, presenting to the AHS Board, executive and other groups on the importance of placing patients at the forefront of any care experience. To increase her knowledge and expertise, Kari completed the University of Calgary Quality Certificate Course, which involved a quality improvement project to improve communication and family involvement in creating and adjusting a care and discharge plan on a geriatric assessment unit. "Patient advisors have a critical role in patient engagement, and the patient and family-centred care approach to improving quality and safety," says Kari Bulger. "Healthcare is a journey that patients, families and providers are on together. We share a common goal – to give and receive the best care possible. Combining our passion, energy and expertise is an exciting opportunity to make healthcare better for all."29/10/2015 3:00:00 PM29/10/2015 8:23:21 PM254

 Upcoming Events



Learning from the best: A webinar with the Patient Safety Champion Awards Finalists32607WebEx 6:00:00 PM02/12/2015 7:00:00 PMJoin us for an hour to offer our gratitude and have a conversation with the patients, families and organizations that have set a great example for everyone else to follow the winners and finalists of the 2015 Patient Safety Champion Awards. 12/11/2015 3:47:33 PM10
Call to Action for the 2015 Canadian SSI Prevention Audit 227WebEx 5:00:00 PM07/01/2016 6:00:00 PMBy participating in this first SSI Prevention Audit you will be part of an ongoing movement to measure the quality of care related to SSI prevention.31/08/2015 8:05:45 PM4
Become a Patient Safety Trainer Conference1932Edmonton, AB 12:00:00 AM27/01/2016 11:59:00 PMThe Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), in partnership with Alberta Health Services (AHS) are pleased to offer the Become a Patient Safety Trainer education conference, a high impact, comprehensive patient safety education program to members of the Integrated Quality Management team in the Edmonton zone.24/11/2015 8:41:45 PM5
2016 Canadian SSI Prevention Audit243 12:00:00 AM29/02/2016 11:59:00 PMBy participating in this first SSI Prevention Audit you will be part of an ongoing movement to measure the quality of care related to SSI prevention. Your participation will help contribute to the reduction of SSIs and deaths by reliably implementing ideal perioperative care for all surgical patients.31/08/2015 8:11:13 PM7
Early Bird Deadline: Canadian Patient Safety Officer Course 32576Ottawa, ON 12:00:00 AM15/02/2016 11:59:00 PMThe in-person course is delivered in Ottawa in a workshop format, where professionals will learn and become patient safety officers via a compressed 4-day curriculum delivered by foremost patient safety experts. The in-person course allows learners to have a dedicated time and space for an intensive learning experience focused on patient safety. Learners have an invaluable opportunity to network and concurrently learn from peers from across the country. 05/11/2015 6:45:48 PM3