THE STARTING POINT FOR ACTION
"We can't afford a healthcare system that delivers so much avoidable harm."
The Center for Patient Protection is an independent think tank working with patients, families, providers and payers to combat the epidemic of preventable hospital harm. Medical errors in the hospital setting are recognized as the third leading cause of death in the United States and Canada. They injure millions of patients each year, devastate families and add unnecessary billions to the cost of healthcare.
Founded out of a horrific personal experience with hospital harm, and strengthened in our unwavering mission of safer care by the voices of countless other patients and families touched by avoidable medical errors, The Center for Patient Protection advocates for rigorous patient safety practices, promotes more robust principles of patient- and family-centered care, and assists the best providers in building a safer, more transparent and compassionate culture consistent with our Healing Healthcare Virtues.SM
Our Keep Me Safe — Make Patient Protection 1st campaign strives to raise public awareness about the dangers and costs of this avoidable epidemic and to keep patient safety first, last and always in every aspect of patient care and family interaction in the hospital setting. More about us...
Learn about the epidemic of hospital harm that takes 500,000 patients in U.S. and Canadian hospitals every year and injures millions more. Explore the issue on our website and by clicking the links to recommended resources and further reading. View the videos we have collected. Write your elected representatives and ask what they are doing to make patients care safer and to end the epidemic of hospital harm. Read about the mother of The Center’s founder, who had more medical errors inflicted on her than anyone in patient safety history, and who is now the inspiration for our campaign to combat hospital harm and make Patient Protection 1st℠.
Information is power. In the healthcare setting, it can mean the difference between life and death. Most of the patients and families we have spoken with over the years expressed a similar thought: If only they had known about the risks posed to them or to a loved one in the hospital, they would have been much more vigilant, more questioning and more engaged. Too many who were affected by hospital harm find themselves racked by remorse and anger that they were not.
Don’t let you or your family be among them.
A safe patient is a questioning patient who understands the reality of today’s healthcare system and, especially, its hospital setting. It is also a patient who has the benefit of a vigilant family or advocate who knows that they, too, are a vital part of a loved one’s healthcare safety net.
Whether you are a patient or a family member, let your healthcare providers know that you are aware of the serious problem of medical errors that claims half-a-million patients in U.S. and Canadian hospitals every year and results in 40,000 incidents of harm every day.
Medical errors that lead to injury and death occur at every stage of the hospitalization process. They include medication errors, infections from various types of pneumonia to C. difficile, pressure ulcers, falls, and mistakes in surgery that see towels and sponges left in the patient or even operations on the wrong patient entirely.
Tell your providers firmly, but politely — or have a family member or advocate tell them — that you don’t intend to become another statistic. Let them know that you expect every step will be taken by the hospital and those who perform care to put your safety, and respect for the role of your family in your hospitalization, first in everything they do. The links below provide a good starting point for learning what is involved in the required standard of safe care.
You can also check out our Ten Reasons for Making Patient Protection 1st℠, which sets out the kind of care you are entitled to expect and the best providers always deliver.
When it comes right down to it, no patient or family can ever be expected to know all the steps that can and should be taken in their care; but they can and should expect that healthcare workers and professionals do and will. Nor can they know all the evidenced-based recommendations and best practices that should be followed for their safety; but they are entitled to rely upon providers and professionals to follow them. There is no substitute for a healthcare culture that actually makes Patient Protection 1st℠, and is committed to delivering the highest standards of transparency and accountability necessary to achieve it.
Making sure that more patients and families insist upon a safer healthcare culture, and more providers adopt it, is the driving force behind the creation of The Center for Patient Protection and its campaign to make Patient Protection 1st℠.
There’s a good reason why hospital harm is everybody’s business. One way or another, we all pay the costs of medical errors — as patients and families, consumers, employers and taxpayers. If we’re lucky, we’ll just pay in higher health insurance premiums or increased taxes. Medical errors in hospitals add tens of billions of dollars to healthcare bills every year. Some actuarial experts have put the total figure, including direct and indirect costs, at closer to one trillion dollars annually. But the sad fact is that many of us pay for this avoidable epidemic with much more than higher insurance premiums and tax bills. We pay for it with the lives of loved ones and the devastation of families.
Take a look at our projects and causes. Decide if there are any you would like to become involved with. Become a champion of patient safety yourself. Let us know how you would like to help. If you have a story about medical harm, consider sharing it. Help promote our campaign to make Patient Protection 1st℠ your web site or blog, or on Twitter, Facebook and other social media. Tell us about your ideas to end the epidemic of hospital harm and how we can improve our message here.
Together, we can shine a disinfecting spotlight where it belongs: on the devastation caused by the epidemic of hospital harm and the steps needed to end it — starting with what works best for patients and families, and by making Patient Protection 1st℠ in every aspect of care.
What do patients and families want when it comes to healthcare, and especially, during a hospital stay? The Center for Patient Protection believes that is a question that needs to occupy the attention of more healthcare providers and professionals.
We spoke with patients and families around the world, sought the views of renowned experts, and studied thousands of pages of patient safety literature in the field. When it comes right down to it, what patients and families want is really quite simple. Above all, they want patient safety, first, last and always. More ...
Why Patients and Families Need Patient Protection 1stSM
Reason # 10
It’s not just a patient in that bed. It's a sacred trust.
Reason # 9
Hospital-acquired infections never send a calling card before they show up in a patient’s room. But patients and families will always know after they’ve arrived.
The Center is guided in everything we do by what we call The Lorraine Finlay Healing Healthcare Virtues℠ of Prudence, Hope, Respect, Compassion, Patience, Diligence, Integrity, Openness, Fairness, Kindness towards all. They are named after the mother of The Center's founder, who experienced more documented medical errors during her six-month hospitalization than any patient in the history of patient safety literature. These are the values that personal experience, research and conversations with patients and families around the world have told us are pivotal in delivering safer, more affirming care. Read full story...
Snapshots of hospital harm from the patients and families who lived it and reached out to The Center for Patient Protection to share it.
A Regular Series that Looks at the Most Common Forms of Medical Injury
#1 | PRESSURE ULCERS
Of all the serious types of hospital harm, pressure ulcers form the largest single category. They injure more than 2.5 million patients in U.S. and Canadian hospitals each year, Read more...
“We can’t afford a healthcare system that delivers so much avoidable harm.” See our new video with The Center’s founder, Kathleen Finlay, on the epidemic of hospital harm and what you can do to help end it.
Patients and families share their stories about medical errors and their emotional impact We hear heart-wrenching stories every day from patients and families who have experienced the tragedy of avoidable hospital harm. In addition to its physical toll, which sadly is often life-ending, there is the horrific emotional injury that is inflicted on families who often […]
(Published in The Huffington Post, July 7, 2015) Research shows age a decisive factor in care decisions A new Canadian study shows that age is a critical factor in the kind of treatment patients receive. According to the research, which involved patients with traumatic spinal cord injuries, “patients over 70 years of age experienced considerable delays between […]
(Published in The Huffington Post, June 24, 2015) Visit any major city in North America and you will quickly discover the link between cash and name recognition in healthcare. Some rich person gives a few million to an urban hospital and their name goes up on a wing. Recently, a generous $3 million donation by one […]
(Published in The Huffington Post, June 11, 2015) The 50th anniversary this year of the Medicare and Medicaid systems in the United States has predictably prompted a good deal of reflection and even some celebration. They were milestones of healthcare advancement in that country to be sure. But much less reflection seems to happen with the […]
Published in The Huffington Post, May 28, 2015 Canadians and Americans buy and drive similar cars and trucks. They also suffer heart attacks and strokes. Sometimes, they need surgery. But while Canadians, like their American cousins, can read reviews on the safety, reliability and quality of a Ford or Jeep before they invest their hard-earned dollars, […]
(Published in The Huffington Post, May 20, 2015) A government agency in Ontario has called for nursing homes in that province to re-evaluate their use of antipsychotic medications like quetiapine (marketed under the brand name Seroquel). Health Quality Ontario says more than 60 percent of residents in some nursing homes are receiving Seroquel and other drugs […]
Touchstones for patient safety and family well-being. More...