The Center for Patient Protection, part of PatientProtection.Healthcare, is widely recognized for its long-standing advocacy of innovative policies advancing what we call true 21st-century patient and family engagement. Our suite of bold initiatives for improving healthcare safety and empowering patients is based on what thousands of patients and families have told us over the years, along with widely accepted evidence-based practices. Transparency that informs and empower healthcare users, and compassion toward and among all players and participants on the healthcare stage, are the overriding pillars that support our Rx for safer care. We detail the highlights below. We welcome inquiries from healthcare providers, professionals and policy makers.
Creation of a Code of Patient and Family Rights and best practices for patient and family centre care to be enshrined under the Canada Health Act. The Code would set out the right of patients and families to be fully engaged in decisions regarding every phase of their care, to be treated with dignity, equality and respect and free of prejudice or bias and establish a duty of candour on the part of healthcare professionals to disclose the details of medical errors at the first available opportunity. The Code should also recognize the right of patients and families to be consulted in the making of broader healthcare policy and that the voice of patients and families will have equal standing with healthcare professionals and policy makers in the framing, designing and building of initiatives, policies and programs related to the overall wellness of individuals, families and communities. Nothing about me without me should be the overriding paradigm for patient and family primacy that guides all healthcare policy and decisions.
Mandatory, verified reporting and disclosure of medical, surgery and diagnostic errors for every hospital; similar requirements in respect of medical and care errors in Long Term care facilities;
Make recognition and reduction of medical/diagnostic errors a part of the mandate of the federal Minister of Health and every provincial/territorial minister.
Elimination of the deny-and-defend response to medical error complaints, replaced by trauma informed care and emphasis on compassion and support to affected patients and families;
Rebuilding hospital complaint and patient experience departments from the ground up of, focusing on best practices and trauma-informed values, headed by a chief compassion officer for every major hospital provide
Transparent, audited and easily accessible system for grading patient safety and patient and family centred care for hospitals on a comparative basis; similar grading system for resident-focused care and safety in long term-care facilities;
Rebuild the complaint process for disciplinary bodies governing healthcare professionals to ensure patient-friendly access and trauma-informed practices;
Creation of companion legislation to the Canada Health Act governing the protection, use, safeguarding, and access to patient health information that places all Canadians on a equal footing and provides Canada with a federal regime similar to the U.S and UK;
Creation of a nationally coordinated and publicly accessible database of disciplinary actions filed against healthcare professionals mirroring the U.S. National Practitioner Database; and
Establishment of a national patient safety agency (the healthcare equivalent of the Canadian TSB and the U.S. NTSB for transportation safety issues) to oversee the prevention of systemic breakdowns in care, medical errors and hospital-associated infections, and compliance with evidence based patient safety protocols. ;
Recognition that mental health is an essential part of basic health care; that deaths by suicide and opioid overdose are is a public health crisis in Canada that require a national action plan, with an emphasis on fresh thinking and technological innovations like the forthcoming 988 hotline, introduced to Canada by Kathleen Finlay.
Creation of a national action plan to address gender-based healthcare gaps.
To create a more fair, equitable and patient/family friendly healthcare system, The Center for Patient Protection also calls for:
Creation of models and practices, training and accountability mechanisms to ensure the absolute and uncompromised elimination of bias and prejudice or other barriers related to age, gender preference, income or ethnicity in the healthcare system and in all its institutions.
Establishment of a no-fault compensation system for patients and families harmed by medical errors similar to practices found among Nordic jurisdictions;
Removing fees for patient access to medical charts;
Ending hospital parking charges, beginning for the most vulnerable and financially disadvantaged families and those whose loved ones have been harmed by medical errors and their hospital stays have been prolonged; and
Better training, including trauma-informed practices, of healthcare professionals in providing respectful, stress-abating support to families caring for hospitalized loved ones, along with monitoring of the emotional health of family members.
The Center for Patient Protection is the first advocacy of its kind to call for a national strategy for removing gender-related barriers to healthcare for women (see below), including participation in clinical research, which currently places too many women at risk for adverse outcomes compared with male counterparts. The Center also urges the creation of a comprehensive strategy for suicide prevention, including adoption of the three-digit 988 crisis line.
The Center for Patient Protection continues its unique work in providing compassionate support to patients and families seeking safer care and helping them to navigate through the aftermath of medical errors. Too many patients and families around the world report major difficulty in obtaining proper healthcare responses when faced with adverse events in the hospital setting or when confronted by serious breakdowns in care or communication with the healthcare team.
Many say they have nowhere to turn during these times of greatest need and emotional stress where the well-being of a loved one hangs in the balance or the search for answers hits a wall of silence.
The first of its kind anywhere, and now in its 12th year, The Center’s online outreach clinic has helped and supported patients and families around the world. Despite a heavy caseload, and entire weeks often devoted to the needs and intervention requests of a single patient or family member, no outreach for help from vulnerable or financially disadvantaged patients or families has ever been turned away.
The Center for Patient Protection continues its policy, guided by its healing healthcare virtues, of never charging the most vulnerable patients and families for this service.