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.