Have you experienced harm in healthcare?
Have you, or a loved one, experienced a patient safety incident?
A patient safety incident is an event or circumstance which could have resulted, or did result, in unnecessary harm to a patient. There are three types of patient safety incidents:
- Harmful incident: A patient safety incident that resulted in harm to the patient.
- Near miss: A patient safety incident that did not reach the patient and therefore no harm resulted.
- No-harm incident: A patient safety incident that reached the patient but no discernible harm resulted.
While we are not able to provide direct support to you because of the mandate of our organization, we hope that the guidance we offer here will be of help.
If you have any concerns about your care, or experienced a patient safety incident, there are several paths available for you to take.
Click here for some guidance for your next steps which includes:
- First reach out locally to your healthcare providers and the healthcare organization (e.g. clinic, hospital) where the incident happened as they have a responsibility to assist you.
- Then, if needed elevate your concern to a relevant authority in your province (e.g. professional regulatory body, ministry of health, ombudsman).
Here are some tips from the patients and families who have been in a similar situation:
- Reach out to the patient complaints/ relations/ experience (or similar) department to file a report,
- Request a meeting with the director of care, and
- Request a copy of your healthcare record. If you notice an error, discuss it and request that it is corrected. Find out if the privacy commissioner office in your province may help (e.g. statement of disagreement).
Some concerns or incidents can also be reported directly by patients and families to a specific authority.
- Medication errors or reactions can be reported here: https://www.mederror.ca/
- Side effects and adverse reactions from health products (drugs, medical devices, vaccines and more) can be reported here: Canada Vigilance Program
For additional evidence and Canadian guidelines co-designed by patient partners and experts:
- The disclosure principles, written by Patients for Patient Safety Canada
- Canadian disclosure guidelines
- Canadian incident analysis framework
- Engaging patients in patient safety - a Canadian Guide
- Patient safety and incident management toolkit – reporting and learning systems
- Real time reporting – webinar hosted by Patients for Patient Safety Canada featuring 3 leading practices
The most important thing you can do is learn to be safe.
- Ask about the top safety risks for you or your loved one and how can you help mitigate them as you go through your healthcare journey.
- Speak up for your or your loved one's safety every time you have a concern. Here are some tips for how to speak up.
- Learn about and access safety resources like the 5 questions to ask about your medication, questions to ask before, during and after your appointment, recognizing and preventing sepsis, and more.
- Contribute to improving safety for all patients by connecting with the organizations and patient groups that match your passion – see a list here.