Information and links to help support patients and families in the frequently challenging journey through the healthcare system, and its aftermath. This is not intended to be a comprehensive list of resources. Patients and families are advised to do their own searches for information and authorities that are relevant to their specific circumstances and patient safety issues. Let us know if you think there are any links or resources that should be added.

What is a MEDICAL error?

“An act of commission (doing something wrong) or omission (failing to do the right thing) that leads to an undesirable outcome or significant potential for such an outcome. For instance, ordering a medication for a patient with a documented allergy to that medication would be an act of commission. Failing to prescribe a proven medication with major benefits for an eligible patient (e.g., low-dose unfractionated heparin as venous thromboembolism prophylaxis for a patient after hip replacement surgery) would represent an error of omission”. Source: The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality | Patient Safety Network | U.S. Department of Health and Human Services





What is a MEDICATION error?

“A medication error is any preventable event that may cause or lead to inappropriate medication use or patient harm while the medication is in the control of the health care professional, patient, or consumer. Such events may be related to professional practice, health care products, procedures, and systems, including prescribing, order communication, product labeling, packaging, and nomenclature, compounding, dispensing, distribution, administration, education, monitoring, and use.” Source: National Coordinating Council for Medication Error Reporting and Prevention




See also the Patient Safety Dictionary, National Patient Safety Foundation

For Canadian patients:

Quick Tips, Facts and Stats:

What To Do if You are Harmed in a Hospital (Pro Publica Series)

Huffington Post articles on medical errors

Recent News & Commentary by The Center and Kathleen Finlay 

New York Times articles on medical errors

Tools for Rating Hospitals:

Canadian Comparison Tools (Limited information presented in a manner generally inaccessible to patients and families)

Other Helpful Links:

Canadian Healthcare Sites:

Major Patient Safety Initiatives:

Consumers Union Safe Patient







B Boxer






[/one_half][one_half_last]Informative Videos

  • U.S. Senate Hearings into Hospital Harm

  • PBS Segment on Hospital Harm

  • Consumers Union on Respect and Hospital Care



  •  ABC News on Surgery Errors

  • Hospital-Acquired Infections

  • HAI Video  from CDC

  • HAI Video from 3M Canada

  • The Hidden Dangers of Seroquel from ABC News Australia

More Major Patient Safety Initiatives:

 National Quality Forum






Patient Safety, Science & Technology Movement





Institute for Healthcare Improvement 



Lucian Leape Institute of the National Patient Foundation









The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality





World Health Organization (Patients for Patient Safety)



What To Do if  You are Harmed in a Hospital 




Pro Publica Series on Hospital Harm

Pro Publica Series on Patient Safety






More Patient and Family Driven Initiatives: