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CPSI Share                                                  
10/31/2017 6:00 PM

Edmonton, AB – On behalf of all Canadians, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute is joining the World Health Organization in their global campaign to reduce medication errors.

The goal for the Medication Without Harm global patient safety challenge is to reduce the level of severe, avoidable harm related to medications by 50% over 5 years. As a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Patient Safety and Patient Engagement, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute is coordinating the Medication Without Harm campaign in Canada. "Know. Check. Ask." is the call to action to encourage patients and healthcare providers to take an active role in medication use and for global solidarity and action by the international community to reduce avoidable medication-related harm.

"The Canadian Patient Safety Institute is uniquely positioned to lead this campaign in Canada, and we look forward to working with the World Health Organization and our domestic partners in the development of a Canadian implementation strategy. As a country, we can do better," said Canadian Patient Safety Institute CEO Chris Power.

"Everyone uses medicine at some point in their lives and it is the most common treatment intervention used in healthcare. Unfortunately, harm resulting from unintentional, yet preventable, errors are all too common in processes involving prescribing, preparing, dispensing, administering and monitoring the use of medications."

"Everyone, patients and their families included, has a role to play in safe medication use," said Maryann Murray, member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada, who lost a child due to a preventable medication incident. "To see the international community come together now and commit to reducing medication harm around the globe is very meaningful to all of us who have lost loved ones."

The World Health Organization states that unsafe medication practices and medication errors are a leading cause of injury and avoidable harm in healthcare systems across the world. Globally, the cost associated with medication errors has been estimated at $42 billion USD annually.

In Canada, harmful incidents associated with medications are among the most frequent. Medication safety issues can impact health outcomes, length of stay in a healthcare facility, readmission rates, and overall costs to Canada's healthcare system.

Over the course of the next five years, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute together with patients and partners will develop and execute an implementation plan, monitor and evaluate progress made and work closely with the World Health Organization to ensure the long-term sustainability of strategies implemented over the course of the Medication Without Harm campaign.

About Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI)

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) is a not-for-profit organization that exists to raise awareness and facilitate implementation of ideas and best practices to achieve a transformation in patient safety. CPSI reflects the desire to close the gap between the healthcare we have and the healthcare we deserve. CPSI would like to acknowledge funding support from Health Canada. The views expressed here do not necessarily represent the views of Health Canada. www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca

For media inquiries, please contact:
Cecilia Bloxom
Senior Director, Strategic Communications
Canadian Patient Safety Institute
Phone (780) 700-8642