Patient Safety

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Most Canadians who access health services receive safe care. However, sometimes there are adverse effects to receiving care — unintended harm associated with the delivery of care that can result in prolonged hospital stay, disability or death.

CIHI is working to help understand the issues related to patient safety and the provision of safe care, and is undertaking a large body of work in this area. We are also helping to measure improvements in the safety of care provided. Our work includes a number of initiatives, from the development and reporting of indicators across the continuum of care to other quality and patient safety analyses and initiatives.

One initiative under way now, in partnership with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), is a project on patient safety in Canada's acute care hospitals. The project will have 3 main outputs:

  • A report on patient safety in Canada
  • A measure for harm experienced by patients in acute care hospitals
  • A resource library containing evidence-informed practices for reducing harmful events in hospitals

We welcome your feedback and questions

Patient safety information

 Key resources
 Key projects
 Reports and analyses
 Databases and data sources
 Metadata
 Related resources
 Related content

Key resources on patient safety

  • Access more than 60 patient safety resources and online tools — from data on infection control practices and restraint use to analytical reports on a broad range of patient safety topics — in this new Patient Safety Resource.
  • View our 1-page infographic capturing CIHI's major products on patient safety.

Key projects on patient safety

  • New indicators:
    • In-Hospital Sepsis Event
    • Medication-Resistant Infections
    • Hospitalized Surgical Site Infections
    • In-Hospital Falls
    • Pressure Ulcers

Reports and analyses about patient safety

Databases and data sources for patient safety

The National System for Incident Reporting (NSIR) is a free, web-based reporting system used by Canadian health care facilities to securely and anonymously share, analyze and discuss medication and IV fluid incidents.

NSIR data and analyses inform quality improvement activities at all levels — from ward or unit projects to pan-Canadian initiatives — to foster improvements in health care delivery.

The Canadian Medication Incident Reporting and Prevention System (CMIRPS) is a collaborative pan-Canadian program of Health Canada, the Canadian Institute for Health Information (CIHI), the Institute for Safe Medication Practices Canada (ISMP Canada) and the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI).

CIHI has a number of other health services databases that contain quality-of-care information. These are described in detail in Types of Care.

Metadata about patient safety

Metadata is information about data. It helps users understand and interpret data from a specific source.

Related resources for patient safety