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CPSI Share                                                    
6/19/2020 7:00 AM

Chris PowerIn the past few months, the healthcare world has changed dramatically. At the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, we have spent those months listening and thinking about what a Canadian healthcare system looks like after it has adapted to the realities of an ongoing pandemic.

Patient safety is more important than ever. However, we cannot demand any additional strain, burden, or distraction from an overwhelmed healthcare system. We must adapt our thinking and approach to safety in Canada and globally.

Our conclusion is that patient safety should not focus on the absence of harm. We should not simply count the number of incidents in hopes that those numbers go down next year.

Instead, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute will lead the effort to emphasize the presence of safety in healthcare. Every person in the healthcare journey should be equipped and encouraged to identify patient safety, celebrate it, and share the successes throughout the system.

The Presence of Safety Can Be Hard to See.The Presence of Safety can be hard to see, but each of us can learn to recognize it. We can learn to ask for it. Each of us – whether a patient or family member, a healthcare provider, an administrator, or leader – can learn to become an advocate for the presence of safety. Once you learn to look for it, you will find safety present everywhere, and know what to do if it is absent.

In order to embrace this new focus, CPSI has had to reprioritize several campaigns to provide maximum support to patients, providers, and leaders during Canada's pandemic response.

  • You will see a renewed emphasis on infection prevention and control – our recent STOP! Clean Your Hands Day campaign featured messaging to help flatten the curve to reduce the pandemic's impact and tools to show how to clean hands effectively.
  • You will see frequent mentions of our partnership to support the psychological health and safety of healthcare workers, including peer support programs.
  • Additionally, you will start seeing new work on topics shared among all of the pan-Canadian Healthcare Organizations, such as patient partnership and engagement, safety systems and guidance, as well as patient safety in virtual care.

We are hoping that you can join us, to help be our voice as we focus on the Presence of Safety in healthcare.

Have you witnessed the presence of safety in peer support? What would you consider the presence of safety in virtual healthcare? Help us identify patient safety in patient partnerships, in moments of hand hygiene, and in all aspects of healthcare, wherever it is provided.

Safety needs to be top of mind for all of us. This presents opportunities for positioning patient safety in our new world order. We will use this campaign to share tools, resources, and programs from CPSI and our partners to ensure they get into the hands of those who need them most!

Help us spread the message that safety can be hard to see, but you can learn to see its presence – or to speak up if it's absent.

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

Yours in patient safety,

Chris Power