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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



Telling the patient engagement story29060Patient Safety Power Plays My role as CEO of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute takes me around the country seemingly non-stop, meeting with and speaking to various groups of people and advancing the patient safety and quality improvement agenda. It's a part of what I do that I absolutely love. If you've ever heard me speak, or give a presentation, you'll know that I like to humanize the subject matter as much as possible, often with stories drawn from my own experiences and life lessons picked up along the way. Although I can leverage my professional experiences and speak to a room as a CEO of a healthcare organization, or a front-line healthcare provider, the parts that resonate the most are my stories of what it was like to be a patient or a family member in the healthcare system. This isn't surprising, because it's something to which we can relate. Every now and then, we all get to play the part of the patient or the family member. It may not be the focus of my speech or presentation, but I like the fact that these stories garner so much attention. It means there is recognition within the system that the voice of the patient is important. A top-down approach to care delivery is increasingly becoming a thing of the past. As healthcare leaders and providers, we need to empower our patients to embrace their role as advocates of their own healthcare. We have to make it okay to speak up and ask questions. There are countless examples of quality initiatives happening all over Canada where the patient has a seat at the table. At CPSI, we practice what we preach and lean on Patients for Patient Safety Canada to ensure the role of the patient and the family members is accounted for in everything we do. We're also not the only ones making this a priority. While the patient voice is being heard, we need to do more than sustain momentum, we need to keep pushing. I envision a time when patient engagement is as much a point of pride as our publically funded healthcare system. I believe it can happen! What do you think? Where have you seen the benefits patient engagement can have of care outcomes? Share your story with me at Yours in patient safety, Chris Power06/06/2016 6:00:00 AMMy role as CEO of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute takes me around the country seemingly non-stop, meeting with and speaking to various groups06/06/2016 2:57:44 PM350
Ms. Murray goes to Geneva29052Patient Safety News For most people, the chance to represent their country on the world stage comes along once in a lifetime – if ever. Maryann Murray earned the opportunity to do just that recently at the World Health Organization headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Murray, a member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada, was invited to speak at a side event on medication safety during the World Health Assembly's annual meeting and to represent the patient perspective. She also shared the "Five Questions to Ask about your Medications," with the assembly as an example of a made-in-Canada tool that will save lives. The World Health Assembly is the governing body of the World Health Organization and is comprised of the Health Ministers from member states. They meet every year in May for five days. From walking the halls of the Palace of Nations and seeing the peacocks roaming the grounds, to watching representatives from across the globe come together with the goal of improving healthcare worldwide, Murray describes the experience as surreal. Despite the goings-on around her, however, Murray was there with one goal in mind. "I agreed to take part in this meeting because I know we can do better and I wanted to encourage others to take action," Murray says. "Having lost a child to an adverse drug reaction, I want to do what I can to help reduce similar events. I agreed to attend because I wanted to underline the importance and urgency of improving medication safety. Improving medication safety will save lives." Maryann's daughter Martha died in 2002, after a series of errors. She since joined Patients for Patient Safety Canada with a desire to ensure what happened to Martha doesn't happen to anyone else. "One of the speakers suggested that ways must be found to increase reporting, perhaps through incentives," Murray says. "A physician in the audience responded to this comment by suggesting that the best reward for reporting would be feedback." "Wouldn't it be great if national reporting of adverse reactions became the norm, as well as regular newsletters showing data analysis, trends and early warnings?" she says, hopeful that her words left an impression on those in attendance. Murray says she was thrilled to see the patient's perspective given so much credence and walked away inspired by the feeling that so many influential people were focused on finding ways to improve medication safety.03/06/2016 6:00:00 AMFor most people, the chance to represent their country on the world stage comes along once in a lifetime – if ever. Maryann Murray earned the06/06/2016 5:07:59 PM629
CPSI honoured by award wins29056Patient Safety News It's been a humbling week for the Canadian Patient Safety Institute. CPSI is the recipient of six communications awards, proudly on display in the Edmonton office. Five of the awards come from the International Association of Business Communicators. They includeAward of Excellence in Communication Leadership – Patient Safety Forward with FourAward of Excellence in Digital Communication – CPSI's new websiteAward of Excellence in Special Events – Canadian Patient Safety WeekAward of Excellence in Special Events – Canada's Virtual Forum on Patient Safety and Quality ImprovementAward of Merit in Publications – Hands in Healthcare magazine The sixth award is an Award of Excellence for Best Publication for Hands in Healthcare magazine presented by the Canadian Public Relations Society. "These awards are a huge vote of confidence that our work is effective, on point and on message," said Cecilia Bloxom, Senior Director of Strategic Communications. "However, as good as these accolades are, the real win comes from knowing we're making an impact on patient safety. On that front, we look forward to many future celebrations."03/06/2016 6:00:00 AMIt's been a humbling week for the Canadian Patient Safety Institute. CPSI is the recipient of six communications awards, proudly on display in the03/06/2016 8:34:55 PM271
Accreditation Canada recognizes increasing compliance with VTE prophylaxis29048Patient Safety News Successful approaches by Peterborough and Regina Qu'Appelle In the 2015 Accreditation Canada Report on Required Organization Practices (ROP), Quality and Safety in Healthcare Organizations, the Venous Thromboembolism (VTE) Prophylaxis ROP showed the greatest change in compliance from 2012 to 2014, increasing from 77 to 85 per cent. The ROPs are evidence-informed practices that mitigate risk and contribute to the quality and safety of health services. VTE is a condition that includes both deep vein thrombosis, the formation of a blood clot usually in the leg or pelvic veins, and pulmonary embolism when that clot dislodges and travels to the lungs. Thrombosis affects thousands of Canadians each year, and many are preventable. Dr. William Geerts, Director of the Thromboembolism Program at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and lead of the Safer Healthcare Now! VTE intervention was the driving force behind the VTE required organizational practice. He has worked tirelessly to help hospitals, doctors and pharmacists across the country and around the world that are implementing quality improvement initiatives in the prevention of VTE. "While VTE is a common complication in hospitalized medical and surgical patients, the evidence clearly shows that it is preventable," says Dr. Geerts. "It is gratifying to see that the ROP has helped Canadian hospitals to recognize the risks of VTE and put comprehensive policies in place to protect patients from death due to pulmonary embolism after a surgical procedure, or an acute illness requiring admission." Peterborough aims for 100 per cent VTE compliance The VTE prevention program at Peterborough Regional Health Centre (PHRC) is well-established and showing impressive results. Quarterly reporting by service is collected through random audits. Evidence-based VTE prevention is a key component of the Quality Improvement Plan, aiming for 100 per cent compliance by March 31, 2016. The year-end results achieved an overall 93 per cent (Medicine 96 per cent; Surgery (epidural) 93 per cent, Surgery (non-epidural) 90 per cent, and Gynaecology 84 per cent). Prior to 2012, VTE prevention at the PHRC was rather a hit and miss approach. Standalone order sets on the patient's chart were often lost or incomplete. The Director of Quality, Risk and Patient Relations challenged teams to come up with a plan and get buy-in from their peers. A VTE Task Force was formed, led by corporate physician champion, Dr. Lynn Mikula, who continues to provide support throughout the sustainability phase. Having a committed and enthusiastic champion onboard was key to achieving buy in from physicians. The approach taken was to first educate physicians and medical staff on the evidence, showing why VTE prophylaxis was important and how it could help. All medical departments signed off on a new policy and guidelines. VTE prophylaxis is now embedded in order sets and has become part of regular orders for patients. The order set also preauthorizes changes so that the pharmacist can adjust dosages based on body size and weight and includes a quick guideline to follow. Now, if VTE prophylaxis it is not administered, it is up to the physician to indicate on the patient's chart, why not. "Once we got things rolling, it snowballed and has been a success," says pharmacist Greg Soon (now leading the antimicrobial stewardship program at PRHC). "Initially, we implemented a Risk Stratification Scoring System that made it simple. With this approach, there were significantly fewer exceptions. We also had a pharmacist trained in anti-coagulation as a part of the team and that provided our physicians with the comfort and evidence to move ahead." Clinical educators conduct monthly random audits. When anything that looks like a potential failure or inappropriate results are shown, discussions with nurses, pharmacists and physicians take place to determine the why. "The PRHC has a fantastic culture of collaboration where everyone is encouraged to work together," says Mitch Peart, Clinical Pharmacist responsible for VTE prevention at PHRC. "When you can open conversation on the topic and find out reason behind prescribing patterns, that discussion is what drives the change going forward." Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region system-wide approach to VTE The pharmacy department at Regina Qu'Appelle Health Region (RQHR) were the motivators behind a region-wide change in VTE prophylaxis. The journey began in 2001, with a process comprised of three phases over a 10-year period preparation, active intervention, and maintenance and improvement. From 2004 to 2009, hospital pharmacy residency projects were conducted and preprinted orders were implemented. Through a multi-disciplinary approach, VTE prophylaxis is now engrained into physician, nurse and pharmacist practices. The rate of appropriate in-patient VTE prophylaxis is currently at 92 per cent in surgery and 89 per cent in medical. "We were successful because we really tried to understand our culture at RQHR," says Bill Semchuk, lead pharmacist. "Initially we tried to reach out to medicine, nursing and pharmacy in an identical manner, but we were unsuccessful. The medical culture is different from the nursing and pharmacy cultures. As an organization we are now working together as a team." Pharmacists are more black and white, and it was an evidence-based approach that worked for that group. The medical group and physicians are very evidence-informed and experientially-based. They base their decisions on their experience; therefore a case-based format was used for this group. Nurses are protective of their patients; therefore linking VTE prophylaxis to specific patient cases where negative outcomes occurred was a significant motivator for nurses. Annual VTE audits are mandated by the hospitals Pharmacy and Therapeutic Committee. For the past decade, RQHR has used pharmacy students to collect the data. The students spend a couple of days being educated on VTE prophylaxis and the parameters around who should get it and who should not get it. This year, 16 pharmacy students visited the wards to collect data for all adult in-patient populations, excluding mental health. "By auditing on an annual basis, we can identify trends in VTE prophylaxis administration and areas of concern at any given time," says Bill Semchuk. "Whenever an area of concern comes up, we will meet with the individual group and discuss corrective actions." Semchuk says that the prevention of VTE is an ongoing journey. You continually have to look at the why when your numbers drift down and have discussions on how to fix it. Support from national groups such as Safer Healthcare Now! has helped them to benchmark their results against other healthcare institutions and that has been so powerful. Finally, they are thankful to be able to connect with national leaders like Dr. Geerts, who share their expertise and that has helped them to engrain VTE prevention into the RQHR culture.02/06/2016 6:00:00 AMSuccessful approaches by Peterborough and Regina Qu'Appelle In the 2015 Accreditation Canada Report on Required Organization Practices (ROP), 06/06/2016 5:06:09 PM502
Love thy colleague10183Patient Safety Power Plays ​Healthcare can be an exciting, yet challenging profession. As providers, you're looked upon to be tough and resilient, always rising to the occasion during times of crisis. It's these moments that are likely the reason you got into healthcare in the first place. You're there for someone in their moment of need, and you're going to own it. These are the stories you'll recount long after you've worked your last shift. Exciting! You're also one of the first people to bear the brunt of someone's displeasure (to put it mildly) when you don't get the care outcome you were hoping for. With pressure and stressors coming at you from all sides, even internally, it's not always easy to keep your chin up. These are not moments you'll cherish, but the ones you'll learn from, and maybe the ones you'll need a little help to recover from. You're not alone, but sometimes it can feel that way. Healthcare settings are incredibly busy places, but you can still feel very isolated from everyone. Perhaps it is difficult to speak up when you're struggling. This is where a caring co-worker and the relationships you forge on the job can make all the difference. You might be more likely to take notice if a colleague is struggling if you know them better. You are definitely more likely to approach them to ask what's wrong. The same could be said about them, if you're the one who could benefit from the support of a co-worker when the going gets tough. It was John Lennon who penned the Beatles' 1967 single "All You Need Is Love," an appropriate theme for this month's Power Play. Coincidentally, the single's B-side was "Baby, You're A Rich Man." Quite appropriate considering we're all richer when we are open to love. If you're reading this, I want you to take the time to genuinely improve the relationships you have with the people you work closest with. Get to know each other, and you'll start to care for each other as people first, colleagues second. The impact that change in dynamic can have on the job will astound you. Looking back, the memories you treasure won't just be the ones where you saved a life, they'll be the ones about the special bonds you shared with those closest to you and how you had each other's backs. Please don't just take my word for it. I know there are countless examples out there illustrating exactly what I'm talking about. Share them with me at or @ChrisPowerCPSI and we can use those stories encourage others that when it comes right down to it, all you need is love. Yours in patient safety,Chris Power​09/05/2016 6:00:00 AMHealthcare can be an exciting, yet challenging profession. As providers, you're looked upon to be tough and resilient, always rising to the20/05/2016 8:51:34 PM235

 Upcoming Events



Application Deadline: ISQUA - Emerging Leaders Programme29021 12:00:00 AM30/06/2016 11:59:00 PMThe Canadian Patient Safety Institute is proud to support this event.This event is hosted by ISQUA24/05/2016 5:44:26 PM15 Event
Registration Deadline: Become a Patient Safety Trainer Conference [Kingston]4770Kingston, ON 12:00:00 AM08/07/2016 11:59:00 PMContinuing Professional Development in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen's University, in partnership with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, is excited to offer this "Become a Patient Safety Trainer" conference in Kingston, ON.11/04/2016 4:04:14 PM13;Workshop
Abstract submissions : Patient and Family Centred Care Experience Conference presented by Horizon Health Network 29041 12:00:00 AM17/07/2016 11:59:00 PMAbstract submissions will be accepted until July 17! Submit yours today. 02/06/2016 4:37:34 PM7
Become a Patient Safety Trainer Conference: Executive Session Webinar4738WebEx 4:00:00 PM20/07/2016 5:00:00 PMThe Canadian Patient Safety Institute, in collaboration with the Regional Paramedic Program of Eastern Ontario (RPPEO) are pleased to offer the Become a Patient Safety Trainer education conference, a high impact, comprehensive patient safety education program to paramedics, physicians, and allied health providers working in or with Emergency Medical Services. 13/01/2016 8:37:42 PM
Become a Patient Safety Trainer Conference [Kingston, ON]4771Kingston, ON 12:00:00 AM09/08/2016 11:59:00 PMContinuing Professional Development in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Queen's University, in partnership with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, is excited to offer this "Become a Patient Safety Trainer" conference in Kingston, ON.13/04/2016 5:57:04 PM;Workshop