patient safety

Lack of safety standards for home cancer treatment puts patients at risk

Ten years ago, almost all chemotherapy drugs were delivered intravenously at a hospital. Today, many cancer treatments are taken orally by patients, in their homes. The trend means patients enjoy the comfort of being in their own homes and avoid parking and transportation costs.  It is also much less costly for hospitals. But taking oral

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

Medical education must include quality improvement and patient safety

Zafira Bhaloo

Entering medical school is like settling in a new country, you have to learn the language, adapt to the culture and figure out how to succeed. As medical students, we study the pathophysiology, clinical presentation, diagnosis and management of diseases. We learn how to effectively communicate with patients to get their stories and pair these

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

A 15 million-dollar case for reforming medical malpractice in Canada

Five years after her life irreversibly changed, Danielle Boyd won her case and received one of the highest medical malpractice payouts in Canadian history. The agreed-upon facts: Dr. Edington, a rural family physician who also practices anesthesia, obstetrics, and emergency medicine, saw then 24 year-old patient Ms. Boyd in the Hanover ER at a little