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Federal, provincial and territorial governments can impose changes to the Canadian healthcare system through legislation to support and/or mandate patient safety. Government leadership is essential for putting into place protections to address and reduce patient safety incidents in healthcare.

There is, however, considerable variation among the provinces and territories relating to mandatory reporting of patient safety incidents, apology protection and the degree to which legislation includes accountability or enforcement mechanisms for noncompliance.

Measures of Success for Patient Safety in Canada

The following measures of success were identified through the literature review, collaboration with Patients for Patient Safety Canada, and consultations with CPSI's Policy, Legal and Regulatory Affairs Committee to monitor the progress of legislative changes in preventing and reducing harm:

  • Provincial and territorial Health Ministries advance patient safety through legislation that ensures transparency in the reporting and disclosure of patient safety incidents, apology and quality assurance processes and public reporting.
  • Monitoring systems are in place across Canada to measure and report consistently on safety as well as the rates and scale of harm, using shared definitions across the provinces and territories.