Patients and families
For your safety and the safety of others:
- Get informed, educate yourself, and ask questions.
- Actively participate in your own care and treatment.
- Share information, concerns, and suggestions.
- Work closely with your care providers, especially during care transitions.
- Learn how to reduce infection risks while at home and in the community.
If you or your family member has experienced unanticipated harm:
- Speak up and ask questions about what happened, why, and what will be done about it.
- Seek out the proper way to report the incident.
- Expect an apology and to be informed about next steps.
- Ask for practical or emotional support to cope with the incident.
- Find out where else you can find support if you feel you are not getting the answers you need (e.g., patient complaints or ombudsman office).
- Share ideas, concerns, and suggestions to improve the incident management process.
To advance patient safety in partnership with patients:
- Ensure patients and families are engaged in their care and feel comfortable voicing concerns and asking questions.
- Educate patients and families about patient safety, especially those dealing with chronic illnesses, and ensure they are engaged.
- Participate in and encourage open sharing and team learning about patient safety risks.
- Listen closely to patients and families, as they are all unique.
- Make sure information is accurate and understood by patients and families.
- Adapt your communication to fit the needs of patients and families.
- Establish collaborative work habits with colleagues and patients and families, especially around leading practices (e.g., bedside shift report, transitions of care).
- Continue to improve your communications skills.
If you are involved in a patient safety incident:
- Follow the organization's procedures, practices, and guidance for reporting, disclosure, and incident management.
- Find out who can support you and seek out practical and emotional support.
- Use the advice and resources offered through your professional organizations and regulatory colleges.
- Ensure your organization's policies, processes and resources for patient safety and incident management are used.
- Ask everyone involved in a patient safety incident about their experience and how to prevent it.
- Share patient safety and incident management information across the organization and incorporate improvement ideas into policies, procedures, and training.
- Ensure timely, honest, and transparent communications with patients, families, and providers.
- Visibly value and support patient engagement in patient safety.
- Strive towards a safe and fair culture that is centred on patients and families.