What We Do

What We Do

Con­sis­tent with our mis­sion and val­ues, The Cen­ter for Patient  Pro­tec­tion works to:

»  Fos­ter wider aware­ness about the epi­dem­ic of avoid­able hos­pi­tal harm that claims thou­sands of lives every year in the Unit­ed States and Cana­da, leaves mil­lions more injured and adds bil­lions to health­care costs. We seek to gal­va­nize gen­uine progress by hav­ing this epi­dem­ic viewed and treat­ed as the health­care cri­sis it is, while at the same time rec­og­niz­ing and encour­ag­ing the best providers that show gen­uine lead­er­ship to reduce the caus­es and effects of med­ical errors and the emo­tion­al harm to patients and fam­i­lies that accom­pa­ny them.

»  Build ini­tia­tives to help inform, engage and pro­tect patients and fam­i­lies, in real time, dur­ing their hos­pi­tal jour­ney. We believe true hos­pi­tal safe­ty requires an unre­lent­ing com­mit­ment on the part of health­care providers and pro­fes­sion­als to make patient pro­tec­tion first, last and always in every­thing they do, and to rec­og­nize the vital role that fam­i­lies play in the hos­pi­tal expe­ri­ence.

»  Advo­cate for greater trans­paren­cy in the dis­clo­sure of med­ical errors and safe­ty per­for­mance indi­ca­tors. A safe patient is an informed patient. To achieve that goal, a cul­ture of open­ness and trans­paren­cy is need­ed on the part of all health­care prac­tices and insti­tu­tions, includ­ing the will­ing­ness to dis­close mis­takes when they occur, apol­o­gize for the phys­i­cal and emo­tion­al harm that results and to learn from the expe­ri­ence so sim­i­lar events can be avoid­ed in the future.

»  Work to encour­age the best providers in build­ing safer, more open and com­pas­sion­ate cul­tures that empha­size patient- and family-centered val­ues. Our Patient and Fam­i­ly Engage­ment  Trig­ger ToolSM is a first-of-its-kind device that allows providers to iden­ti­fy both crit­i­cal stages and red flags in patient and fam­i­ly inter­ac­tion that hold the poten­tial to result in med­ical and emo­tion­al harm, and place the rep­u­ta­tion and legal stand­ing of the orga­ni­za­tion at risk.  Work­ing with our unique Patient and Fam­i­ly Engage­ment Trig­ger ToolSM, health­care providers are bet­ter able to ensure more suc­cess­ful out­comes by engag­ing in time­ly inter­ven­tions and imple­ment­ing more robust patient and fam­i­ly cen­tered pro­to­cols.

»  Help patients and fam­i­lies in real-time through our Advo­ca­cy Ser­vices and Online Out­reach Clin­ic. Every day we hear the trag­ic sto­ries of patients and fam­i­lies around the world who have been harmed by med­ical errors and the emo­tion­al trau­ma that often fol­lows. Many have turned to The Cen­ter as their last hope for help in deal­ing with the after­math of harm when it occurs. The Cen­ter for Patient Pro­tec­tion strong­ly believes that no patient or fam­i­ly should be left to feel aban­doned or dis­re­spect­ed by our health­care sys­tems.  The more patients and fam­i­lies who share their sto­ries, the larg­er the data­base of expe­ri­ence we have to draw on to help them and the stronger our voice can be to advo­cate for the changes that are need­ed.  

At the core of our mis­sion is the belief that health­care providers have a duty not only to pre­vent harm but to help heal patients and fam­i­lies when it occurs.  Being can­did in all aspects of patient and fam­i­ly inter­ac­tion, and avoid­ing the typ­i­cal deny and defend response that often fol­lows errors, is vital to that heal­ing rela­tion­ship. 

The Val­ues We Stand For

Dif­fer­ent sto­ries, many voic­es — one mes­sage

Our first-hand per­son­al expe­ri­ence in these areas, and our dai­ly inter­ac­tion with patients and fam­i­lies who have been harmed both by med­ical errors and their emo­tion­al after­math makes The Cen­ter for Patient  Pro­tec­tion unique­ly posi­tioned to know what patients and fam­i­lies need and how providers can best achieve those out­comes. Many have shared their heart­break­ing sto­ries in the hope that lessons will be learned to pro­tect oth­ers in the future, while count­less fam­i­ly mem­bers have con­tact­ed us for real-time help in deal­ing with break­downs in the care of a loved or to help deal with the emo­tion­al after­math of hos­pi­tal harm.  This wealth of expe­ri­ence and knowl­edge is cap­tured to help providers and health­care pol­i­cy mak­ers improve stan­dards of patient and fam­i­ly cen­tered care. 

What is strik­ing is that regard­less of their coun­try, native tongue or accent, what they say is remark­ably uni­ver­sal: they or a loved one were harmed by some­thing they believe was pre­ventable.  Often they were des­per­ate to get atten­tion for what they saw as a dete­ri­o­rat­ing con­di­tion, but no one would lis­ten. There was typ­i­cal­ly a feel­ing of dis­re­spect, betray­al and aban­don­ment both before and after the inci­dent.  Their search for answers and account­abil­i­ty was fre­quent­ly thwart­ed by a wall of silence, if not efforts at cover-up, by the health­care provider.  Yet for most, what they want is not puni­tive com­pen­sa­tion but an acknowl­edge­ment of the harm and a demon­stra­tion that those respon­si­ble have learned so that the risk of such break­downs occur­ring again will be min­i­mized. We help to bring these sto­ries to light and work with both fam­i­lies and providers in order to turn the pages of harm to a new chap­ter in heal­ing.    

At The Cen­ter for Patient  Pro­tec­tion, we know about the painful and dev­as­tat­ing nature of these expe­ri­ences first-hand.

The call of per­son­al expe­ri­ence

The Cen­ter was found­ed by Kath­leen Fin­lay fol­low­ing the life-shattering hos­pi­tal expe­ri­ence of her elder­ly moth­er and a shock­ing num­ber of avoid­able med­ical errors that were inflict­ed on her. Kathleen’s quest for account­abil­i­ty was the begin­ning of a long sec­ond night­mare of emo­tion­al harm that too many fam­i­lies expe­ri­ence when they seek hon­est expla­na­tions for what hap­pened to a loved one but instead encounter a cul­ture of eva­sion, secre­cy and hos­til­i­ty on the part of health­care providers. As patient or fam­i­ly mem­ber who has expe­ri­enced the emo­tion­al harms that so often go with med­ical errors will insist, only those who have been there tru­ly know the sense of anguish that they cause.  It is this expe­ri­ence that bonds Kath­leen and The Cen­ter for Patient Pro­tec­tion she cre­at­ed with the injured souls that look for help.

The pow­er of heal­ing health­care virtues

The Cen­ter is guid­ed in every­thing we do by what we call The Lor­raine Fin­lay  Heal­ing Health­care Virtues.SM  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 care and pro­duc­ing more pos­i­tive out­comes. These are also the same virtues Lor­raine embod­ied when she was a health­care pro­fes­sion­al but which were glar­ing­ly absent when she, and her fam­i­ly, need­ed them most. Too many patients and fam­i­lies affect­ed by med­ical errors say they were also harmed by the absence of respect, com­pas­sion and open­ness in their hos­pi­tal expe­ri­ences and that these short­com­ings mag­ni­fied the impact of their pain and suf­fer­ing. 

It is the authen­tic voice of these val­ues, and the heart wrench­ing expe­ri­ences that ani­mate them, which has found res­o­nance and sup­port among so many patients and fam­i­lies in every part of the globe.

The cam­paign to make Patient  Pro­tec­tion 1st 

Our flag­ship cam­paign, Keep Me Safe — Make Patients  and Fam­i­lies 1st℠, works to raise pub­lic aware­ness about this avoid­able epi­dem­ic of hos­pi­tal harm and ensure that high­er stan­dards of safe­ty, trans­paren­cy and com­pas­sion are embed­ded into every aspect of patient and fam­i­ly inter­ac­tion. 

Cre­at­ing The New Par­a­digm for Patient and Fam­i­ly  Engage­mentSM

On the pages that fol­low, you will find help­ful fact-based resources in print and video, break­ing news items, insight­ful com­men­tary and inno­v­a­tive ideas that can reduce the risk of med­ical errors, lessen the emo­tion­al harm that so often accom­pa­nies them and sig­nif­i­cant­ly improve the qual­i­ty of patient and fam­i­ly engage­ment with their hos­pi­tal jour­ney. They will also help health­care providers, pro­fes­sion­als and lead­ers deliv­er the kind of care that best reflects their high call­ing.  We are con­fi­dent our efforts can help saves lives, enhance pub­lic con­fi­dence in our health­care sys­tems and reduce soar­ing costs by bil­lions of dol­lars each year. They are part of what we call the The New Par­a­digm for Patient and Fam­i­ly  Engage­ment.SM

Thank you for your inter­est in The Cen­ter for Patient  Pro­tec­tion.  Be sure to share any thoughts, sug­ges­tions and expe­ri­ences with us.  

Join us in mak­ing Patients  and Fam­i­lies 1st℠, for every­one.