About Us

Who We Are

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 are based 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 five years Kathleen’s pri­vate advo­ca­cy prac­tice has pro­vid­ed 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.

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