In this resource :

The development of Engaging Patients in Patient Safety – a Canadian Guide 

Engaging Patients in Patient Safety – a Canadian Guide was developed out of the Integrated Patient Safety Action Plan, a shared action plan for safer healthcare established by a group of more than 50 organizations known as the National Patient Safety Consortium. One of the plan's guiding principles was patient engagement and it’s a shared action was a comprehensive guide for patient engagement based on evidence and best practices. 

Creators and contributors 

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI – now Healthcare Excellence Canada) led the work on the guide, providing leadership and funding, along with the Atlantic Health Quality and Patient Safety Collaborative, Patients for Patient Safety Canada and Health Quality Ontario.  

Beginning in 2016, CPSI brought together patients, government, and organizations responsible for improving patient safety and quality at the national or provincial level, to form an Action Team to help develop the guide. 

Governments and organizations

* Because of the key role accreditation plays in establishing patient engagement as a core feature of healthcare, the guide is closely aligned with the standards established by the Health Standards Organization (HSO)/Accreditation Canada. Throughout the guide, the HSO logo indicates the points of alignment. 

A consultant team (One World Inc.) supported the Action Team's work by conducting an environmental scan to identify current evidence, leading and emerging practices, and by drafting the content of the guide. The scan offered examples of patient engagement in patient safety and quality, a targeted review of academic literature, a web scan and interviews with key informants in the field. 

Forty patients and providers from across the country participated in focus groups to help develop the guide's scope and content, including feedback on drafts. Ten patients and providers also participated in a usability pilot to validate the format and provide ideas on how to make the guide easier to use.  

Ongoing development and updating 

The guide is regularly updated and refined because patient engagement evidence and practice are continuously emerging and evolving. The first edition was launched in 2017 and has been updated twice (in 2018 and 2019) based on a quick review of the literature and leading practices, in consultation with the Action Team. 

Get involved:

  • Accessing the most up-to-date version of the guide and bookmark the webpage for future reference.
  • Email to contribute to the guide (e.g., with resources)
  • Checking out complementary resources including the Canadian Patient Engagement Network and the Patient Engagement Resource Hub. 


Patient Engagement Action Team. 2017. Engaging Patients in Patient Safety – a Canadian Guide. Canadian Patient Safety Institute (now Healthcare Excellence Canada). Last modified December 2019.