Partnering with
Patients and Families

Patients expect healthcare to be safe and for most people it is. However, one in 18 hospital stays in Canada involve at least one harmful event. Improving patient care, safety and quality requires everyone’s involvement. When patients and providers work together in partnership, care is safer.

For over a decade, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute has partnered with patients and is fully committed to have patients engaged in the development and delivery of all of its programs and campaigns.


volunteer patient partners

Grey angle37 Patients for Patient Safety Canada members hold the WHO Patient Safety Champion designation
Grey angle36 presentations at 13 Canadian events to tell their stories and share their experiences

committees, boards, and
working groups supported
(22 Canadian)

45 products including policies, strategies, programs and campaigns supported, contributing to their design, development and implementation (30 Canadian)

4 learning sessions supported with input on the design, development, delivery and evaluation; attended by a total of 417 participants

Key Accomplishments

development of a collaborative “guide of guides” that is practical, valuable and complements existing resources:

Highlights Navigation


Patients for Patients Safety Canada (PFPSC) is a patient-led program of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Canadian arm of the World Health Organization’s (WHO) Patients for Patient Safety global network. While many of its 75 volunteer members have personal stories of heartache, loss, grief and frustration due to unsafe care, they are able to look beyond personal events, draw from their experiences, and collaborate with the healthcare system in a shared mission of Every Patient Safe.

Last year, PFPSC champions gave 36 presentations; most notable was a session at the World Health Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland and at a Global Ministerial Summit in Bonn, Germany in support of the WHO's 3rd Global Patient Safety Challenge on Medication Safety. Members also participated in 33 committees, boards or working groups, providing valuable insight on including the patient voice in fostering safer care.

The Canadian Patient Safety Institute works in partnership with PFPSC and ensures their involvement in the development of all of its programs. Two examples of collaboration include: the Hospital Harm Improvement Resource, with the contribution of PFPSC members, includes a discussion of the “importance to patients and families”; and The Deteriorating Patient Condition, to ensure that patients and families have information, tools and resources not only to help recognize the deteriorating patient condition, but what they can do to act on it.

VIDEO: Patient and family stories

Patients For Patient Safety Logo
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The Patient Safety Champion Awards presented by HealthCareCAN and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, with support from Patients for Patient Safety Canada, to honour patient safety champions who foster spread and sustainability of patient and family partnerships in healthcare delivery and patient safety. The 2016 Volunteer Patient Safety Champion was awarded to Johanna Trimble from the Vancouver Coastal Health Community Engagement Advisory Network. Johanna has mobilized her passion and commitment to affect change within the healthcare system and raise awareness around overmedication of seniors. Michael Garron Hospital in Toronto, Ontario was the 2016 recipient of the Team/Organizational Champion Award for their outstanding work in engaging patients and families as partners in continuous improvement.

VIDEO: Patient Safety Champions Webinar
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To enhance patient engagement, a new resource was under development for release in May 2017. The Engaging Patients In Patient Safety – a Canadian Guide is based on evidence and leading practices, to help patients and families, patient partners, providers, and leaders work together more effectively to improve patient safety. The Guide was developed by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, the Atlantic Health Quality and Patient Safety Collaborative, Health Quality Ontario, and Patients for Patient Safety Canada in partnership with a group of patients and experts.

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The Patient Safety Champion Program pilot project was launched in early 2017 to connect patients with policy makers in federal and provincial governments to build support for patient safety policies that have a direct impact on Canadians. The program is designed to encourage elected officials to reflect on and challenge their understanding of safety in our healthcare system and to support legislative and budgetary measures that lead to improvements in patient safety.