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Policy Impact

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute strengthens commitment for patient safety by working with patients, governments, regulators, educators, professional groups, and other partners to promote individual, organizational and health system accountabilities for safer care through policy, legislation, regulation, and accreditation. Our work focused on the development of a policy framework for describing the best evidence-informed policy levers for patient safety improvement, and strengthening the psychological health, safety, and wellness of healthcare workers. We also continue to gather evidence to support the development of better measurement, reporting and transparency of patient safety in Canada.

1,085 page views and 217 downloads of Strengthening Commitment for Improvement Together: A Policy Framework for Patient Safety 

28,427 page views of the Hospital Harm Measure and Hospital Harm Improvement Resource

822 downloads of the Hospital Harm Improvement Resource

211 downloads of the Hospital Harm Analytic Report, Measuring Patient Harm in Canadian Hospitals

Global Patient Safety Alerts

180 new alerts and 770 recommendations added

17,822 total page views

12,437 summary page views

3,112 full alert views

100 countries with Global Patient Safety Alerts users

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Policy, Legal and Regulatory Affairs Advisory Committee

The Policy, Legal and Regulatory Affairs (PLRA) Advisory Committee is mandated to provide advice to the Canadian Patient Safety Institute on patient safety issues and strategic directions that relate to federal/provincial/territorial health policy, legal and regulatory systems, and processes. The Advisory Committee met in November 2019 and February 2020 to explore a number of topics and to provide guidance on current and emerging issues in a policy context, such as Indigenous health, stronger patient safety legislation, the role of regulators in ensuring safety, organizational standards, and governance for patient safety.

A legal advisor was engaged to complete an up-to-date comparative scan of all provincial and territorial legislation for mandatory reporting, disclosure, apology protection, and quality assurance. This information will support jurisdictions in achieving consistency in strong patient safety legislation.

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute and CFHI hosted a Policy Lab Design Day in February 2020. Participants, including policymakers, healthcare leaders, patients, and caregivers, were brought together to explore a new methodology from the NHS Policy Lab (United Kingdom) that was designed to help create innovative inclusive policy. The day was a huge success, and the two organizations are looking forward to hosting future policy labs together.

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Measurement and Transparency

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute supports the development of better measurement to support transparency of patient safety.

Healthcare Associated Infection Surveillance

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute remains committed to improve the surveillance of healthcare-associated infections (HAI). A research study is planned to work collaboratively with national, provincial, and territorial stakeholders to explore, test and recommend options for the pan-Canadian adoption of standardized case definitions, along with the pan-Canadian collection and reporting of HAI surveillance data. Terms of Reference for a Pan-Canadian Measurement and Surveillance of Healthcare Associated Infections Advisory Committee have been prepared and members have been recruited. A planned Advisory Committee meeting for March 2019 was cancelled as our partners in the infection control community have diverted their attention to the COVID-19 response.

Hospital Harm Indicator

The Hospital Harm Improvement Resource is based on evidence-based practices that can be used to support patient safety improvement efforts. Currently, there are 18 Hospital Harm Improvement resources available on the website, with new and updated resources regularly added. To support use of the Canadian Institute for Health Information Hospital Harm Indicator for improvement, in partnership with Health PEI, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute conducted retrospective chart reviews on approximately 300 charts from the Prince County Hospital and Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The data was analyzed, and findings shared with Health PEI. This information will help to identify opportunities for improvement.

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In collaboration with Patients for Patient Safety Canada and other select partners, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute commissioned a research study to explore the measurement and monitoring of safety through the eyes of patients, families, and carers. An Advisory Committee has been established to guide the work, co-chaired by Dr. G. Ross Baker (University of Toronto) and Maaike Asselbergs (Patients for Patient Safety Canada). The research team will work with the Advisory Committee, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and Patients for Patient Safety Canada to recruit participants for focus groups or individual interviews.

Policy Influence and Outreach

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute interprets and provides evidence, moral imperative, and implementation guidance related to patient safety policy levers for provincial/territorial policy makers, organizational leaders, healthcare provider regulators, and standard setting and accrediting bodies.

Strengthening Commitment for Improvement: A Policy Framework for Patient Safety

In December 2019, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute published Strengthening Commitment for Improvement Together: A Policy Framework for Patient Safety. The Policy Framework describes our theory of change and strategy to help inform and influence policy that strengthens commitment to improve patient safety, and will guide our efforts to leverage and enable policy in legislation, regulations, standards, organizational polices and public engagement.

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Helping Healthcare Providers Heal: Creating a Safe Space

The Creating a Safe Space: Psychological Safety of Healthcare Workers manuscript and toolkit was released in October 2019. A webinar series was developed to support the rollout with five webinar events held throughout the year. With the emergence of COVID-19 the program has been rapidly scaled up to spread peer support across all Canadian jurisdictions, strengthening the psychological health, safety and wellness of healthcare workers and the sustainability of Canada’s healthcare workforce.

The Canadian Peer-to-Peer Support Network was established as a forum for healthcare organizations seeking guidance in the development of their Peer Support Program. The network is a community of people with lived experience in establishing peer-to-peer support programs. The web-based platform is designed to share learnings and guide members through the various stages of peer-to-peer support, from developing a business plan to leveraging internal experts for participation and endorsement. The Network is supported jointly by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and members of the Canadian Expert Advisory Committee for Peer Support Programs.

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute has partnered with the Mental Health Commission of Canada to update the Canadian and global environmental scans of healthcare workers support models and toolkit. An updated version is planned for September 2020. In addition, work has begun on the next manuscript module: best practices for patients and healthcare workers to heal together through purposeful conversation following a patient safety incident. The Canadian Patient Safety Institute has commissioned research with the University of Alberta Mutual Health Project to develop the best practices, to be published in the Fall of 2021.

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Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies Canada

As an observer for the Alliance for Safe Online Pharmacies Canada (ASOP Canada), the Canadian Patient Safety Institute advocates for policy change to protect the integrity of the drug supply chain to maintain and promote medication safety.

Reporting, Learning and Sharing

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute is committed to reporting, learning, and sharing trends, best practices, and policy options to promote greater transparency in lessons learned from patient safety incidents.

Global Patient Safety Alerts

Know more with Global Patient Safety Alerts! Global Patient Safety Alerts is a web-based resource featuring a comprehensive collection of patient safety alerts, advisories and recommendations for healthcare providers and organizations, in support of the WHO reporting and learning systems community. In 2019-2020, a web redevelopment plan was undertaken to rebrand the website, add new alert categories/icons, and to enhance search, filter, and trends capabilities. Global Patient Safety Alerts provides expertise, trends, and policy advice to Canadian and provincial/territorial partners in their reporting, learning, and sharing improvement initiatives.

Global Patient Safety Alerts
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