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Patient Safety Right

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The Canadian Patient Safety Institute is regarded as the authority on patient safety in Canada and has steadily provided the foundation for all players in the system to recognize and act on the fact that despite the best efforts of committed providers and leaders, healthcare in Canada remains unsafe. The overall level of harm remains disturbingly high, with sometimes devastating results for patients and providers. Lives continue to be needlessly lost. The last decade has shown that the development and dissemination of knowledge and tools to support patient safety improvement was necessary, but insufficient to drive sustainable change.

PATIENT SAFETY RIGHT NOW sets a bold new direction for the Canadian Patient Safety Institute. Now, in the second year of a five-year strategy, PATIENT SAFETY RIGHT NOW helps the Canadian Patient Safety Institute to achieve its vision of making Canada’s healthcare system the safest in the world.

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The strategy consists of two key elements:

Support is needed for successful implementation of measurable, sustainable patient safety improvement, and initiatives need to be evaluated to demonstrate what works.

The evidence of what works needs to be translated into standard policies and practices for practitioners and providers at all levels of the health system. These best practices can then be incorporated into a more robust system of commitment, responsibility, and expectations for patient safety in Canada.

These two aspects of the strategy are mutually reinforcing. By working with partners to demonstrate and evaluate what works, we uncover the practices that should be built into policies, standards, and regulations. By working to build a more robust commitment to patient safety through mechanisms such as system transparency and reporting, we identify pressing system needs that may require further testing of promising practices whose value and potential for standardization can be evaluated.

Demonstrating what works and strengthening commitment require a focus on participants and partners with concrete commitment to implementation and evaluation. We will purposefully partner and build strategic alliances and networks with those that can influence and impact patient safety improvement, we will evaluate our activities and intentionally prepare and push knowledge and evidence to key audiences who can accelerate patient safety improvement and change, and we will meaningfully empower patients to champion safety improvement.

Mechanisms to Implement the Strategy

Implement – Implement safety improvement projects in priority areas to demonstrate what works

Evaluate – Embed evaluation in all Canadian Patient Safety Institute activities to assemble evidence of what works

Share with Purpose – Develop concrete strategies to share evidence and improvement knowledge

Raise the Profile – Increase the profile of patient safety to raise expectations for improvement

Improve Transparency – Develop a comprehensive framework that addresses rights and obligations for transparency at all levels

Strengthen Commitment – Strengthen commitment to safe care through policy, regulation, and accreditation

Lines of business

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute has aligned its work to demonstrate what works and strengthen commitment. The lines of business provide a line of sight between the strategy and the activities we undertake. The lines of business provide a guiding framework that helps link the 2018-2023 Business Plan to our Operational Plans and Performance Management Framework.

The Lines of Business are:

Safety Improvement Projects

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute works with committed partners to implement and evaluate measurable and sustainable safety improvement projects that align with pan Canadian priorities.

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Making Patient Safety a Priority

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute uses the patient voice in reporting, campaigns, and media to make patient safety a higher priority across healthcare systems.

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Policy Impact

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute influences policy, standards, and regulations so that they can incorporate best patient safety evidence and practices.

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Alliances and Networks

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute creates and strengthens strategic alliances and networks with patients, governments, industry, and other partners who are committed to making care safer.

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For more information, please review the PATIENT SAFETY RIGHT NOW Business Plan.


The Canadian Patient Safety Institute has established performance targets to evaluate our impact. The Performance Measurement Framework provides a consistent approach for collecting, analyzing, and reporting on the performance of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute’s programs and activities. A rigorous internal measurement and evaluation process was employed to ensure that all programs are tracking their contribution to desired outcomes.

Targets have been set for outputs, strategic outcomes (immediate and intermediate) and ultimate results. This process is useful in that it helps to focus our thinking on what it is we are trying to measure. Some indicators are part of phase 2 of the implementation of the Performance Measurement strategy and will be reported on later in the business cycle.

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