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CPSI Share                                                  
7/24/2012 6:00 PM

Almost a million Canadians visit hospital emergency each year for heart-related problems. Many are treated and released quickly, but when complications arise, the consequences can be serious and devastating. A new study is looking to enhance patient safety for people with heart-related problems.

The Canadian Institutes of Health Research has awarded the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute (OHRI) a research grant of $428,829 to create patient-safety enhancing solutions that address healthcare associated complications for people with heart-related problems. Adverse Events among Patients Discharged with Sentinel Cardiovascular Emergency Department Diagnoses is a three-year study that will look at the common heart-related reasons when patients present in emergency, including fluid on the lungs (heart failure), heart rhythm problems (atrial fibrillation) and fainting (syncope). The goal of the study is to determine what systemic and patient factors increase the risk of preventable healthcare-related complications among emergency patients, age 50 and over, with heart-related problems.

The study will follow 6,500 patients across 10 Canadian emergency departments, including The Ottawa Hospital (Civic and General campuses), Kingston General Hospital, Mount Sinai (Toronto), the Foothills, Peter Lougheed and Rockyview hospitals (Calgary), University of Alberta Hospital (Edmonton), Centre Hospitalier Affilié Universitaire de Québec (Enfant-Jésus, Quebec City), and Hôpital du Sacré-Cœur (Montréal). Using health record reviews and telephone interviews, teams of emergency doctors will review the records of patients who subsequently died, were admitted to hospital, visited emergency, saw their own doctor, or felt worse 14 days after their first visit to emergency. The team of experts will identify complications related to the healthcare received on the initial emergency visit. 

“The study will provide a broad view of the continuity of care for heart-related problems. We will look at the effect of different strategies, such as quick referral to a specialist through rapid referral clinics, are making a difference to reduce harmful incidents,” says Dr. Lisa Calder, Attending Physician in Emergency Medicine (The Ottawa Hospital), Associate Scientist Clinical Epidemiology Program (OHRI) and Principal Investigator for the study. “This is a great step toward reducing healthcare associated complications for people with these heart-related problems.”

“The Canadian Patient Safety Institute would like to congratulate Dr. Calder for making such a significant contribution to patient safety through this important research,” says Hugh MacLeod, CEO of CPSI. “This is great news for patient safety and we applaud the efforts of Dr. Calder and her team to improve the outcomes for people with heart-related problems.”