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CPSI Share                                                  
5/28/2017 6:00 PM

A new online resource, based on evidence and leading practices, is now available to help patients, families, patient partners, providers and leaders to work together to effectively improve patient safety. Engaging Patients in Patient Safety – a Canadian Guide is the first patient engagement guide of its kind in Canada that is specifically targeted toward patients, providers and leaders. Written by patients and providers for patients and providers, the Guide was developed in collaboration with patients and patient engagement experts spanning the country. It is designed to be used in all healthcare settings.

"Patient safety is a tricky area to do engagement," says Amy Lang, Director, Patient, Caregiver and Public Engagement, Health Quality Ontario.  "When preventable harm or other safety issues come up, many healthcare organizations are hesitant to work with patients and families to improve care."

"Patients and families have important information that helps us understand how harm happens and ultimately, how to prevent future harm," adds Amy Lang. "The real value of this Guide is that it provides good advice on how to work together, and shows the benefit of having those challenging conversations. The Guide also helps you to navigate all the patient engagement resources that are available, to find the information that can help on your issue." 

The Guide is organized into four sections, each with a different aspect of patient engagement in patient safety: evidence, challenges and enablers that support patients as partners; patient engagement at the point of care; patient engagement at organization and system levels; and evaluating patient engagement. Information in each content area is organized around guidance, practice examples, resources, and key references. As well, each section highlights "what YOU can do", summarizing the content with actionable steps. The Guide will be regularly updated as the evidence and practice in patient engagement emerges.

"The Guide is very much a living document with a strong patient presence," says Theresa Malloy-Miller, a member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada. "There were very respectful discussions that informed the Guide, with equal weight on patient input and expert views. The breadth of people involved and the multiple points of view generated a lot of do-able ideas that are shared throughout the Guide, to ultimately fit various needs."

The Guide was developed by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, the Atlantic Health Quality and Patient Safety Collaborative,  Health Quality Ontario, and Patients for Patient Safety Canada  in partnership with a group of patients and experts from Canadian organizations that are leading patient engagement in Canada, including:  

  • Accreditation Canada
  • Alberta Health Services
  • BC Patient Safety and Quality Council
  • Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement
  • Centre of Excellence on Partnership with Patients and the Public
  • HealthCareCAN
  • Health Quality Council of Alberta
  • IMAGINE Citizens Collaborating for Health
  • Manitoba Institute for Patient Safety
  • Manitoba Health, Healthy Living and Seniors
  • Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care
  • Ontario Hospital Association
  • Saskatchewan Health Quality Council
  • University Health Network
  • University of Montreal

Focus groups were also held with patients and providers to obtain feedback on the outline, early draft and usability of the Guide.

To view the online Guide, visit Feedback and contributions to the Guide are welcomed at