HealthPRO News

October 09, 2020

Be bold people, be bold

As the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) celebrates its incredible 17-year legacy, CPSI CEO, Chris Power, says we have to embrace this opportunity to set the bar high and lead the world in patient safety.

                                                                                        
It’s hard to believe there was a time when there was no common understanding of what patient safety meant. That changed in 2002 with the creation of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI). On World Patient Day, CPSI honoured our hard-working healthcare workers and reflected on CPSI’s long and eventful journey. “We’ve come so far,” said CEO Chris Power, “but there is still a lot of work to do.”

On this year’s 2nd annual World Patient Safety Day, September 17, the message from CPSI was as direct and sombre as it has been for 17 years: that every 13 minutes and 14 seconds someone in a Canadian hospital or receiving home care services dies as a result of unintended harm.

The statistics tell a shocking story – 134 million adverse events contribute to 2.6 million deaths each year globally – and with 28,000 deaths per year in Canada, patient harm ranks third in mortality after cancer and heart disease.


Chris Power, CEO, CPSI and Ron Guse, CPSI Board Chair welcoming people to World Patient Safety Day and the CPSI legacy celebration.

As they unveiled their plans for the day, Chris Power, CEO, CPSI and Ron Guse, CPSI Board Chair used those numbers as a springboard for celebrating the important legacy of CPSI. After 17 years, CPSI is about to amalgamate with the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement to form a powerhouse dedicated to patient safety. So, for the past and present staff of CPSI, its many partners and friends, this day provided a perfect opportunity to reflect on the organization’s tumultuous and transformative journey.
Amid the coronavirus pandemic, the theme of this year’s World Patient Day – healthcare worker safety – was particularly appropriate. “As we communicate about patient safety during the height of a pandemic, we know that patients cannot be safe without healthcare workers being safe,” said Chris.

Set the bar high


Dr. Doug Cochrane, Chair of Interior Health, BC and former CPSI Board Chair.

“We’ve built a system around the people who are served and those providing care because they’re our true asset and they will be the judges of the success of our healthcare system,” said Dr. Doug Cochrane, Chair of Interior Health, BC and former Board Chair, CPSI.

But there is still a problem: “We’ve moved the dial a tremendous amount over the last 18 years but despite that, every 13 minutes and 14 seconds someone in our healthcare system dies because of unintended harm,” said Chris. “There is still a lot of work to be done. So I say, be brave, be bold, be courageous, please colour outside the lines, don’t just do what you think you should be doing – go way beyond that. We have an opportunity to set the bar and lead the world in patient safety.”

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