Tag: patient safety

Safe surgery checklists: the Canadian experience

Safe surgery checklist

Each year there are patients who wake up from surgery to find an operation has been done on the wrong part of their body. These wrong-site surgeries are an example of “never events” – incidents that simply should not happen if all safety measures are taken. Nevertheless, these events take place each year in countries with…

Improving medication safety for the elderly

Medication safety at home

Mimi Roots is worried about her ninety year old mother, Maria. Maria lives alone and has multiple health issues: congestive heart failure, asthma, arthritis, gastrointestinal issues, and a thyroid that was surgically removed. She receives care from five specialists and her family doctor – and each prescribes their own set of medications. Maria takes a…

Is Canada’s medical malpractice system working?

Starting next year, doctors’ malpractice insurance in most parts of the country will cost a lot more – more than doubling in many places. Fortunately for physicians, however, that will affect provincial health budgets more than their own practices. Most doctors are covered by the Canadian Medical Protective Association (CMPA), a non-profit mutual defence organization…

Combating antibiotic resistance in Canada

Michael’s Story Michael was a 75 year-old living in Canada’s Prairies. His wife recently spent five days in hospital for a scheduled hip replacement. At the time she was admitted to hospital, Michael was on a one-week course of Amoxicillin, an antibiotic medication to treat a sinus infection. Michael spent a great deal of time…

Can quality be assured for diagnostic imaging?

radiology

News headlines from across Canada are periodically dominated by scandals and errors in diagnostic imaging. The list grows each year, with errors exposed from coast to coast. The narrative follows the same arc – an error is discovered in an area of diagnostic imaging. A radiologist – generally the physician involved in the interpretation of…

New recommendations for Canadian doctors-in-training focus on fatigue

Resident Duty Hours

After finishing medical school, new doctors go through several years of post-graduate, on-the-job training – known as residency – in order to become licensed to practice independently. Historically, residency has involved very long hours spent in hospital, so that residents see a high volume of diverse cases as well as provide patient care. As part…

Improving quality in Canada’s nursing homes requires “more staff, more training”

Improving quality in Canada’s nursing homes requires “more staff, more training”

Over 100,000 patients are cared for in Alberta and Ontario’s nursing homes every year. Many residents and families are quite happy with the care provided in nursing homes. However, news reports from home and abroad remind us that not all nursing home residents receive the same quality of care. Ontario has launched several quality initiatives for long term…

Dangerous drug interactions and how to stop them

Lisa Priest Personal Health Navigator Sunnybrook healthydebate.ca

The Personal Health Navigator is available to all Canadian patients. Questions about your doctor, hospital or how to navigate the health care system can be sent to AskLisa@Sunnybrook.ca The Question: My mother is on six different medications from different pharmacies under the care of three specialists. How do I avoid a dangerous drug interaction? The Answer: This is…

Why patients need to be vigilant about blood clots

Lisa Priest Personal Health Navigator Sunnybrook healthydebate.ca

The Personal Health Navigator is available to all Canadian patients. Questions about your doctor, hospital or how to navigate the health care system can be sent to AskLisa@Sunnybrook.ca The Question: I take warfarin for atrial fibrillation. Every three weeks, I go to a clinic to get my blood checked and, if needed, my warfarin dose is adjusted.…

Should health care workers be required to get the flu vaccine?

flu vaccine

Each year several thousand Canadians die from influenza. Vaccinating health care workers against flu reduces transmission and would protect patients who are most vulnerable.  However, only about 40% of hospital staff in Ontario were vaccinated last winter. Is it time for Ontario to make the flu vaccine mandatory for health care workers? Explaining the influenza…