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The first national picture of harm in Canadian hospitals shows one of every 18 visits results in an incident of harm.

One of every 18 patients in Canadian hospitals experiences an incident of harm – from an infection, to a fall, to bleeding after surgery, or a medication error – according to a new report out today.

And, the joint report from the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI) and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), which is the first national picture of harm in our hospitals, also shows that 20 per cent of those harmed experienced more than one form of it according to a review of 2014-15 data.

 "Health system leaders need timely, cost-effective solutions to measuring patient safety," Kathleen Morris, Vice-President of Research and Analysis at CIHI, said in a statement. "The new measure is based on existing data, making it practical to track improvement over time."

The report says that the rate of harm at Canadian hospitals outside Quebec has remained stable over the past few years – at about 5.6 per cent, or 138,000 incidents of harm in 2.5 million stays.

The measure is intended to help Canadian hospitals track and improve patient safety.

At UHN, Caring Safely, the organization's patient and workplace safety transformation, was launched in June 2015. It embraces safety as a core value by committing everyone across the organization – clinical and non-clinical – to improving safety both for one another and for the individuals that we serve.

In addition to releasing the report, Measuring Patient Harm in Canadian Hospitals, UHN President and CEO, Dr. Peter Pisters joined officials from CIHI, CPSI and other patient safety organizations at a virtual announcement held at the Princess Margaret Cancer Centre.​​

Dr. Pisters speaking
Dr. Peter Pisters, (Second from Left) President and CEO of UHN, speaks at the virtual announcement of the report at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. Also addressing the audience - in person and across the country - were (L to R) Chris Power, CEO of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Kathleen Morris, Vice-President, Research and Analysis, Canadian Institute of Health Information, Dr. Amir Ginzberg, Chief of Quality and Medical Director of Medical Administration, Trillium Health Partners, Dr. Ben Chan, assistant professor at the University of Toronto in the Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, and Donna Davis, Member of the Patients for Patient Safety Canada. (Photo: UHN)

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