Improving Outcomes | Healing Harm
The Center for Patient Protection is the champion of patients and families struggling with medical errors and related emotional harms, and of capturing their experiences to improve patient safety for everyone.
Founded by Kathleen Finlay following her mother’s widely publicized ordeal involving avoidable medical errors and shocking breakdowns in care, The Center for Patient Protection gives voice to the painful lessons of that nightmare as well as the countless experiences of patients and families around the world who are caught in the grip of avoidable medical errors and the emotional harms they produce. The information contained on these pages is also based on an extensive review of thousands of pages of patient safety literature and patient‐ and family‐centered care practices, as well as consultations with world renowned experts in patient safety.
Medical errors in the hospital setting are the third leading cause of death in the United States and Canada; they leave millions more injured and emotionally traumatized and add unnecessary billions to the costs of healthcare systems.
The Center for Patient Protection has become a uniquely valuable resource giving patients and families the tools they need to be aware of the risks they face in the hospital. The information and guidance we provide on this site is built on evidence‐based recommendations from respected healthcare authorities such as AHRQ, IHI, the National Patient Safety Foundation, ISMP and the Institute of Medicine, and, where they exist, their Canadian and U.K. counterparts (links to these sites found on our Resources page).
In addition, we develop proprietary innovations and clinical practices, based on the experiences of patients and families reported to us, like our Patient and Family Engagement Trigger ToolSM, our Patient and Family Bedside MedkitSM, and our DNR Guidelines for Patients, Families and Clinicians which are specifically designed to enhance patient and family outcomes and reduce emotional harms. We also work with the media and contribute to major publications to awaken the public and legislators to the unacceptably high human and financial costs associated with medical errors.
All the work of The Center for Patient Protection has been financed entirely by its founder. The Center was established in honor of her mother, who was subjected to more documented medical errors during her lengthy hospitalization than any other patient in modern medical history.
Since its founding, thousands of patients and families whose lives have been shattered by medical errors and emotional harms have reached out to The Center for Patient Protection for help. Most have come from the United States, Canada, the U.K. and Australia. While they may have experienced different healthcare systems, they speak with one voice in decrying the frequently cold, unfeeling and insensitive way too many healthcare organizations treat vulnerable patients and the emotional scars they leave on families everywhere. These experiences, in turn, are transformed by The Center for Patient Protection into valuable learning tools that can help providers meet the challenge of reducing medical risks and emotional harms.
Responding to what she has called a serious healthcare crisis, for the past seven years Kathleen’s private advocacy practice has provided the most vulnerable victims, without charge, the support and guidance they need to navigate the impacts of these life‐altering events. The Center’s online outreach clinic is the first and only service of its kind and operates without a single cent of government funding. This sense of compassion and commitment to reducing harm is shaped by The Lorraine Finlay Healing Healthcare VirtuesSM, named after the mother of The Center’s founder who sustained an almost incomprehensible number of documented medical errors over the course of her hospitalization, and, as a nurse beginning in World War II, brought her signature virtues of compassion, attentiveness and kindness to so many patients.
The Center for Patient Protection is available to partner with innovative healthcare providers, forward‐thinking consulting firms, members of the legal community and others who are interested in contributing to the creation of a new paradigm for patent‐ and family‐led engagement and the goal of improving the delivery of safer and more compassionate care for everyone.