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CPSI Share                                                    
9/25/2019 6:00 PM

Chris Power, CEO of CPSII am so proud.

On September 17, the world came together to observe the first World Patient Safety Day. For the first time since the day was established at the World Health Assembly in May, we made a global commitment to recognize patient safety as a key health priority. The Canadian Patient Safety Institute led the celebrations in Canada, and we made an impact felt around the world!

Globally, 134 million adverse events contribute to 2.6 million deaths each year because of unsafe care. At 28,000 deaths per year in Canada, patient harm ranks third in mortality after cancer and heart disease.

On September 17th, we took action to bring attention to this silent epidemic by hosting an event in our nation’s capital.

Beginning with a protest against silence in our healthcare system in front of the Ottawa Art Gallery, we invited patients, providers, and healthcare leaders to join us for a special screening of To Err Is Human, a patient safety documentary detailing the toll of patient harm. We received unique permission from director Mike Eisenberg for the film, presented by CAE Healthcare, to be simultaneously streamed online.

The film prompted discussion from our Ottawa audience, and on social media across Canada and around the world. We followed with a panel discussion so we could answer some of the questions that came up. CPSI was represented by Senior Director Sandi Kossey, and we were joined by our partners for the day – Theresa Malloy-Miller from Patients for Patient Safety Canada, Leslee Thompson from Health Standards Organization, and Dr. Robert Amyot from CAE Healthcare.

The response to our efforts on the first World Patient Safety Day was overwhelming. Not only did nearly two hundred people join us at the live event in Ottawa, but over 900 sites joined the livestream activity over the course of the event – sites which numbered from single viewers to audiences of 100 or more, not only from across Canada but from Brazil, Switzerland and the United Kingdom. We received dozens of questions, both from our live and online audiences, that quickly overwhelmed the time we had for our panel. We will be producing a Question and Answer document as a result.

The best result, however, came from the conversations we started. On social media, our #ToErrIsHuman conversations reached 1.6 million people on Twitter over the course of one day. #WorldPatientSafetyDay, with activities around the world, reached over 300 million Twitter impressions on that one day alone. The Canadian Patient Safety Institute was one of the major drivers of those conversations.

I am so proud of us all. We took this unique opportunity to stand together, united in declaring patient safety an essential component for strengthening healthcare systems and saving lives. And we were heard around the world.

Thank you for your commitment and dedication to ensuring patient safety is a top priority. Together, we can make our system safer. Keep speaking up for patient safety, and remember to sign up for Canadian Patient Safety Week. We can #ConquerSilence together.

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

Yours in patient safety,

Chris Power