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Compared with other countries, Canada does a good job of documenting, reporting and acting on patient safety events. However, a lack of progress in Canada’s results warrants further investigation.

  • Canadian women are 2 times more likely to experience tears during childbirth, and rates are not improving.
  • Canadians are almost 2 times more likely to develop a lung clot after hip and knee surgery, though rates are improving.
  • In Canada, over the past 2 years, 553 foreign bodies (such as sponges and instruments) were left behind in patients after surgery. This represents a 14% increase over the last 5 years and more than 2 times the average rate of 12 reporting countries. 

OECD: Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

How to cite this document:
Canadian Institute for Health Information. Canada continues to lag behind other OECD countries on measures of patient safety. Ottawa, ON: CIHI; 2019.


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