Patients expect hospital care to be safe, and for most people it is. Despite health professionals’ focus on safety, a small proportion of patients experience some type of unintended harm as a result of the care they receive. Concern over patient safety and how patients can be harmed during their hospital stay has grown steadily over the past decade.
Tracking and reporting harmful events is a vital first step to investigating, monitoring and understanding patient safety improvement efforts. Historically, reporting has been mostly voluntary and focused on particular risks such as infections. Until now, there has been no single measure that provides a broad perspective on patient safety in Canadian hospitals or answers the question “how safe is my hospital?”
This indicator aims to provide a single estimate of the overall standardized rate of hospital harm to allow for comparisons, tracking and monitoring over time at the facility, regional and provincial/territorial levels.