Result at a Glance - Evaluation of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute Activities

Canadian Patient Safety Institute

  • The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) is a not-for-profit organization, funded by Health Canada and established in 2003, with a mission to “inspire extraordinary improvement in patient safety and quality”.
  • CPSI collaborates with stakeholders (e.g., governments, healthcare organizations, healthcare providers and patient groups) across the health system to promote patient safety in Canada by developing and disseminating products and services and coordinating stakeholder efforts related to patient safety.
  • CPSI activities include knowledge generation, synthesis and translation; competence-building; cultivation and strengthening of relationships with stakeholders across the health system and leveraging the work of other organizations in promoting patient safety in Canada.

What the evaluation found

  • More than a decade after patient safety first emerged as a major concern, available data indicate that there is an ongoing need to address the issue (e.g., a study of patient safety in Canadian children’s hospitals showed that in 2008, 9.2% of hospitalized children experienced an adverse event and 3.6% experienced a preventable adverse event. This compares with 7.5% of hospitalized adults who experienced an adverse event and 2.8% of adults who experienced a preventable adverse event in the 2004 Canadian Adverse Event Study).
  • CPSI has promoted awareness and knowledge of patient safety issues and provided various tools, resources and strategies that can be used by healthcare organizations to address patient safety. The availability of these tools and resources has been particularly important to smaller organizations and jurisdictions with limited resources.
  • In addition to increasing awareness, CPSI has made progress toward its other expected outcomes such as providing education material, strengthening system coordination, promoting positive patient safety culture and practices and increasing monitoring and reporting on patient safety.
  • There is evidence of policies, standards and requirements of professional associations and accreditation bodies that have been informed by CPSI’s patient safety evidence. The Safety Competencies and Canadian Disclosure Guidelines, in particular, have been widely used and adopted and more than one-third of Accreditation Canada’s Required Organizational Practices reference CPSI resources.
  • Although not a formal expected outcome, CPSI is perceived as having been “a pioneer in Canada in advocating for and supporting patient and family involvement in healthcare improvement in Canada and internationally”.
  • External stakeholders feel that CPSI’s activities have generated considerable value-for-money for their own organization and for others (specific examples of activities perceived to have generated value-for-money include: training and education, tools and resources, raising awareness of patient safety issues, convening healthcare stakeholders and drawing attention to patients’ experiences).

Recommendations and responses

The recipient-led evaluation resulted in five recommendations directed at CPSI which can be found on the CPSI website. There are no recommendations directed at Health Canada.

 About the evaluation

The evaluation looked at the relevance and performance of the CPSI from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2017. The evaluation included a review of literature, documents, financial and other administrative data, interviews, a survey and case studies. The Office of Audit and Evaluation acknowledges the consulting firm of Prairie Research Associates, who conducted the recipient-led evaluation of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute’s activities.

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