I 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
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
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
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 email@example.com, and you can follow
me on Twitter @ChrisPowerCPSI.
Yours in patient safety,