Improving outcomes | Healing harms
The Center for Patient [icon name=”icon-medkit”] Protection, now a part of PatientProtection.Healthcare, works to improve patient safety, reduce medical harms in the hospital setting and produce better mental health outcomes. Recognized around the world for its impassioned voice in patient safety and the collaboration of patients and families in healthcare policy, we are the oldest fully independent patient-centered advocacy and the first to offer an online outreach and advocacy clinic to support patients and families facing the trauma of medical errors.
Medical errors in the hospital setting are the third leading cause of death in the United States and Canada. They leave millions injured and emotionally traumatized, and add 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. Unaddressed mental health issues, and 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.
We advocate — typically for the most vulnerable and frequently forgotten in our healthcare and mental health systems — for greater transparency to empower patients and families in their decisions, champion innovations in mental health care and suicide prevention like the 9-8-8 lifeline, campaign to remove 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. In all these things, we build on our extensive knowledge base of patient- and survivor-created lived experiences to assist providers in the delivery of safer outcomes and patients and families in achieving them.
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. 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.
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 addiction.
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 The Huffington Post, her story has been 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 columns.
With a knowledge base built on thousands of patient and family interactions over more than a decade, these unique lived experiences provide an invaluable learning tool not found anywhere else.
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 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 iThe 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.