Improving outcomes | Healing harms
Healthcare through a more compassionate lens
We believe our healthcare systems can only meet their full obligations to society when the needs, aspirations and dignity of everyone, from patients and families to frontline workers and healthcare professionals, are seen through a more compassionate lens.
~ Kathleen Finlay, founder and CEO, The Center for Patient Protection and Patient Protection.Healthcare
The Center for Patient Protection, now a part of PatientProtection.Healthcare works to improve patient outcomes and family experiences by putting compassion at the heart of every part of the healthcare process. With our deep knowledge base of lived experiences shared by thousands of patients and families over the past two decades, we work to strengthen safer patient- and family-focused care, campaign to remove gender-based healthcare gaps and advocate transformative improvements in mental health and suicide prevention services. Compassion and innovation drive our mission and the work of The Center’s lab in creating outside-the-box solutions when old ways begin to fail. We value, honour and work to embed inclusion, diversity, equity and respect throughout the healthcare system. They are an integral part of The Center’s healing healthcare virtues.
Recognized around the world for our impassioned voice in raising awareness about the importance of compassion-based patient and family partnerships in building safer care models, and standing for the most vulnerable as they navigate their healthcare needs, we are the oldest fully independent patient-centered advocacy and the first to offer an online outreach and advocacy clinic to provide trauma-informed support to patients and families struggling with the emotional pain of medical errors.
We’re not aiming to defy gravity. We’re just trying to land caring and compassion where they are most needed in our healthcare systems and in the everyday world.
As the Institute of Medicine observed in its landmark report in 1999, any focus on patient and family care is incomplete without recognizing the reality of avoidable harm in the healthcare setting. Hospital medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States and Canada. As world-renowned proponents of safer medical care, such as Sir Liam Donaldson, MD and Lucian Leape, MD have long noted, medical errors leave millions injured and emotionally traumatized while adding unnecessary billions of dollars to the cost of our healthcare systems. The cost of medical harm in Ontario alone is estimated at more than one billion dollars each year. In addition, unaddressed mental health issues, under-funded mental health care, and failures to adopt mitigation measures to prevent suicide, also carry an incalculable cost in human suffering. Gender-related barriers to healthcare place the lives of millions of women at risk every year.
These are the realities that inform our mission and drive our passion for building more positive outcomes each day. They shape our advocacy, especially for the most vulnerable and too often forgotten in our healthcare and mental health systems, and include innovations in mental health care and suicide prevention like the 9-8-8 lifeline, the removal of gender barriers in healthcare through our Safer Women’s Health Initiative™ and our call for national action by the Canadian government to address the health consequences of gender-based violence and sexual harassment.
An unswerving commitment to compassion and to the principles of healing healthcare virtues has guided Patient Protection.Healthcare from the beginning. We believe our healthcare systems can only meet their full obligations to society when the needs, aspirations and dignity of everyone, from patients and families to frontline workers and healthcare professionals, are seen through a more compassionate lens. Said another way, compassion needs to be the new normal in healthcare.
Our interactions with thousands of patients and families over the years has provided an indispensable knowledge base of lived experiences that has led to innovative discoveries in patient safety and emotional care that can assist providers in delivering safer, healthier outcomes. No other healthcare advocacy can offer this kind of learning tool. It has enabled The Center for Patient Protection to produce an impressive number of healthcare “firsts.”
We were the first to bring to public attention critical issues that adversely affect patients and families in their hospital experiences and proposed concrete solutions to address them, such as the mandatory reporting of medical errors, ending taxpayer support for the physician liability scheme of the Canadian Medical Protective Association, providing patients free access to their medical records and strengthening safety protocols for obtaining do not resuscitate (DNR) orders. We were the first to call for the formal rating of hospitals based on patient service, family support and the reduction of medical errors and the first to call for trauma-informed training of hospital officials and legal counsel dealing with complaints about medical errors. The Center for Patient Protection conceived, designed and developed numerous patient safety tools based on the lived experiences of thousands of patients and families, such as our groundbreaking 3Rs for Safer Care and our unique patient and family engagement trigger tool. We were the first to publicly identify medical errors as the third leading cause of death in Canada years before it was recognized by mainstream healthcare and patient safety communities. Our revelations about abuses involving the drug Seroquel resulted in enhanced reporting of its use and changed practices that reduced administration of the drug in long-term care settings.
We’re not aiming to defy gravity. We’re just trying to land caring and compassion where they are most needed in the everyday world.
In mental health, we introduced Canada to the idea of a three-digit emotional crisis/suicide prevention lifeline using the number 9-8-8. Following a lengthy campaign and numerous national news segments covering our efforts, the House of Commons voted to endorse the proposal in December of 2020. We were among the first to call upon the federal government to up its game in responding to the mental-health needs of Canadians during the first wave of the pandemic. We were also the first to propose the creation of a federal minister for mental health. Those efforts resulted in the creation of a federally-sponsored wellness portal, and, more recently, the appointment of Canada’s first federal minister of mental health and addictions.
The Center for Patient Protection was founded by Kathleen Finlay following a life-altering family experience with the devastation of medical errors. After being documented in Medscape and in aHuffington Post series, her story has since appeared in hundreds of blogs, journals, law pages and websites throughout the world. Kathleen is frequently interviewed by major media platforms around the world, including CTV News and CBC News and The Wall Street Journal. She is a regular contributor to leading op-ed pages.
By giving voice to the needs of patients and families, and especially, the most vulnerable among us, and by taking a strong role advocating for patient safety innovations and compassion-driven policy reforms, we’re helping to save lives, reduce emotional trauma, cut the costs of medical errors and effect positive outcomes for all the participants of our healthcare systems.
Every day, our site is consulted by top healthcare providers, policy makers, healthcare media, and, of course, patients and families around the world. We are proud that The Center for Patient Protection and PatientProtection.Healthcare have become valued as one of the most respected clinics of its kind and a valued advocacy for those seeking safer healthcare.