An informed patient is a safer patient. Hospital safety ratings are an important tool for empowering patients and families to make the right decisions. So why doesn't Canada have a similar system? Patients are less safe when they are left in the dark.

Researchers at Johns Hopkins Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety have discovered that patients at “D” and “F” graded hospitals face a 92% higher risk of avoidable death than patients at A graded hospitals. That’s important, some would say critical, information for patients and families to have. Except in Canada it means nothing because there are no similar rating systems for Canadian hospitals. There are several rating system in the U.S.

When institutions know they are being watched and evaluated, they tend to take more care in their actions. When they know they can operate in the shadows and without accountability, all stakeholders are at greater risk.The Center for Patient  Protection has long advocated establishing a rating system for Canadian hospitals to provide patients and families with the transparency needed to make informed decisions of key safety issues. It would represent an important addition to the architecture of patient safety and to principle of patient and family engagement, which, when properly functioning, is known to contribute to improved healthcare outcomes. 

An informed patient is safer patient. Kathleen Finlay has written extensively over the years advocating Canada’s adoption of a user-friendly rating system. Some of those articles are found below.