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CPSI Share                                                    
Leader; Provider; Public
12/11/2018 6:00 AM

Last month, we celebrated some of the amazing accomplishments we and our partners achieved this year. While I was sharing them, I thought about the lessons I learned. It is so easy to get wrapped up in the daily routine of meetings, presentations, and planning that it can be hard to stop and think about the progress we’ve made together.

We were incredibly excited about the successes we saw this year with the Canadian Patient Safety Week. Not only did we roll out a program that interested our primary audience of healthcare leaders and providers, but we also engaged with the public in ways we never had before. Our tools for medication safety were downloaded by people across the country and around the world. By reaching outside the healthcare system, we spread the message of medication and patient safety farther than ever.

The lesson here is not to be afraid to try something new. If we hadn’t decided to engage with new audiences among the general public, we would not have been able to spread our messages so far, let alone equip so many people with tools they can use to keep themselves safer. CPSI has a strong history of supplying our healthcare partners with patient safety messages and tools – but we can make even more of a difference if we remember to try new ways of reaching out to millions of Canadian patients and families out there who need to know how to keep themselves safer in our healthcare system.

The second success we celebrated this year involved our introduction of the first of four Safety Improvement Projects: Measuring and Monitoring for Safety. The project is under way, with participating teams from across Canada, and we will share some of their stories in an upcoming edition of our Digital Magazine. The other three Safety Improvement Projects – Teamwork & Communication, Medication Safety, and Enhanced Recovery After Surgery – will launch next month, and we invite you to sign up here to learn about them as soon as they are announced!

The lesson we learned at CPSI this year was to focus on what we do best. We are a small and passionate group of people. With the support of our partners, we have the daunting task to improve patient safety results for a national healthcare system involving thousands of people across hundreds of locations. When we focus on the expertise that is unique to our organization, we can start making improvements to patient safety… right now!

Finally, we celebrated our partnership with Health Canada. While we were very proud to help deliver a community engagement event in Halifax on the implementation of national pharmacare, we are also working closely with the other Pan-Canadian Healthcare Organizations (PCHOs) and health ministries across the country to make patient safety a priority. I have met with Ministers and Deputy Ministers of most of Canada’s provinces and territories. I have discussed how to work with other healthcare organizations. And I have made sure that each meeting concludes with a commitment to making patient safety one of the most important elements of our healthcare system.

The lesson here is obvious, and probably the most important one: if we work with our partners, we can achieve great things. By uniting with Health Canada and regional health ministries, we can make sure that patient safety becomes a priority across the country. By working with other PCHOs, we can build synergies to achieve our goals together. By working with Patients for Patient Safety Canada, other patient organizations, and Quality Improvement groups across the country, we can help equip patients and their families to take an active role in their healthcare experiences. All of these will be to the overall improvement of our health and our healthcare system well into the future.

Try new approaches. Focus on our strengths. Work together. Learning these three lessons has been key to our plans for a successful 2019, where we intend to make Canadian healthcare systems safer for all patients today, tomorrow, and in the tomorrows to come. Happy holidays to you and yours, be safe, and I’ll talk to you in the new year.

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

Yours in patient safety,

Chris Power