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2/5/2020 6:00 AM

Photo of Chris Power, CEO of CPSITwo major projects are in the final stages of development here at the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, with significant help from several partner organizations. We are launching two framework documents this year, "Strengthening Commitment for Improvement Together: A Policy Framework for Patient Safety" and the "Canadian Quality and Patient Safety Framework", and we couldn't be more excited to use these tools to further our mission to ensure Canada has the safest care in the world!

However, I had to stop myself before I got too carried away. We have been talking about these tools for years, but what if you – our partners and supporters – don't know what they are? What if you don't know the differences between them and their goals? We decided it was time for a little walk-through.

Strengthening Commitment for Improvement Together: A Policy Framework for Patient Safety

Our new Policy Framework is intended to be a roadmap for patient safety among federal, provincial and territorial policymakers in Canada. These include healthcare ministers and their deputies, of course, but also political analysts, regulatory bodies, accreditation groups, and healthcare organizations themselves.

The document sets out guiding principles for patient safety, outlines measures of success, and specifies the knowledge to action system that we use to deliver the highest quality, current research to the people who can best apply it. The Policy Framework identifies five policy levers that can be used by any given policymaker:

  • Legislation
  • Regulation
  • Standards
  • Organizational policies
  • Public engagement

In partnership with CPSI staff, this Framework helps a given policymaker identify the most appropriate policy actions required to deliver safer care in Canada. Our role is to disseminate this knowledge, assist in advancing the work identified, and help evaluate the outcomes.

You can read about Strengthening Commitment for Improvement Together: A Policy Framework for Patient Safety here.

Canadian Quality and Patient Safety (CQPS) Framework

The CQPS Framework, on the other hand, is a guidance document. It is intended to help align efforts and actions to improve key quality and safety areas across Canada. This framework describes overarching principles and goals for safe, high-quality health services in Canada, focusing on policy, action and resources that improve experience and outcome from healthcare systems across the country. Ultimately, this effort will reduce care variations across different communities.

While the CQPS Framework team is currently identifying key interventions, indicators, and evaluation methodologies, their activities are focused on five goals:

  • People-Centered Care
  • Safe Care
  • Accessible Care
  • Appropriate Care
  • Integrated Care
This framework and these goals will inform standards development and accreditation programs for HSO and Accreditation Canada, targeting healthcare teams (including patients), as well as Boards, leaders, policymakers and the public – each with roles to play in meeting or exceeding high standards of care to be set in Canada.

CPSI partnered with the HSO to develop the CQPS Framework, guided by a broad pan-Canadian steering committee made up of diverse stakeholders. It is also intended to be broadened to include social services in future iterations, since most developed countries consider social determinants of health in achieving optimal health outcomes.

You can read about the Canadian Quality and Patient Safety Framework here.

Next Steps

Our Policy Framework has a dissemination strategy in place, ensuring that the document lands in the appropriate hands across Canada within the next six weeks. We invite policymakers interested in the work to reach out to us for a special introduction to the five levers and how we can help you use them in your organization.

The CQPS Framework team is currently developing five action guides to help audiences use the framework to increase patient safety and healthcare quality in their particular locations. We look forward to the publication of the full framework and action guides by the fall.

As delighted as we are in the progress we are making with these projects, we know that they could not have happened without your support – and won't result in affecting patient safety in Canada without you. Please reach out to us with any questions or comments you have about either framework.

My inbox is open to you anytime at, and you can follow me on Twitter @ChrisPowerCPSI.

Yours in patient safety,

Chris Power