Champions of patient safety win national award

EDMONTON, Oct. 30, 2015 /CNW/ - The family of Alberta cancer patient Greg Price, whose death in 2012 exposed dangerous gaps in the healthcare system, has been singled out for a Patient Safety Champion Award by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and HealthcareCAN.

The Price family of Calgary is one of two champion award winners announced Friday.  A second award goes to Providence Health Care, which oversees St. Paul's Hospital in downtown Vancouver and 15 other health-care facilities in that city.

"Both the Price family and Providence Health Care have set a great example for everyone else to follow," says Chris Power, CEO of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute.  "Collaboration, unity and respect between patients, their families and the healthcare system is an integral part of achieving safe care and positive outcomes. We commend them on their achievements and look forward to seeing the fruits of their labours continue to spread across Canada."

"The Canadian health system absolutely needs to hear the patient's voice in order to achieve better outcomes and services," says Bill Tholl, President and CEO of HealthCareCAN. "Patients show courage by speaking out and contribute in numerous other ways to improve on how we deliver care.  We should strive to empower and engage them to provide a better experience for all Canadians.   For that, we have a remarkable example to follow in Providence Health Care that set the bar in terms of patient-centeredness, empathy and respect for the most vulnerable of our society. We are proud to count them as our member and shine the light on their innovation and leadership."

Greg Price, 31, died unexpectedly in May 2012, just days after testicular cancer surgery. With the agreement of the Price family, the Health Quality Council of Alberta initiated a detailed examination of his journey through the medical system and found a lack of co-ordinated care among specialists, clinics, and referring physicians: there were unbooked appointments, delays in tests and confusion over who was responsible to get him followup care. 

Today, the Price family (father David, Isabella, Teri, Joanna, Chad and Matthew) continues to support those recommendations by working in partnership with healthcare organizations and other key players in the medical system and by speaking out candidly and courageously about problems in continuity of care.

Providence Health Care is one of Canada's largest faith-based health organizations and brings a strong tradition of social justice to its daily operations. Known for its work in caring for some of society's most vulnerable populations, Providence is one of the most patient-centred heath organizations in North America. It has placed patient partners at every stage of its planning and operational decision-making, including patient representatives on its board, and also ensures patients are involved in the screening process for all prospective new hires, including executive staff.

The health authority's innovative Rapid Access to Consultative Expertise (RACE) program, created to expedite timely communication between a patient's family physician and medical specialists, has helped shorten waitlists across British Columbia.

The Patient Safety Champion Awards recognize individuals and organizations that have made a significant contribution to safer patient care by engaging patient and family as key players in the healthcare process.

Both the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and HealthCareCAN have a shared desire to see a healthcare system that embraces patients and their families as active members of the care team, harnessing their perspectives and experiences to improve the safety and quality of care in a spirit of collaboration. These are the qualities embodied by the 2015 Patient Safety Champion Award winners.

The Price family and Providence Health Care were among dozens of nominees submitted for consideration for this year's awards. The nominations were reviewed by members of a judging panel made up of representatives of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute, HealthCareCAN and Patients for Patient Safety Canada.

About Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI)
The Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) is a not-for-profit organization that exists to raise awareness and facilitate implementation of ideas and best practices to achieve a transformation in patient safety.  Funded by Health Canada, CPSI reflects the desire to close the gap between the healthcare we have and the healthcare we deserve.

About HealthCareCAN
HealthCareCAN is the national voice of healthcare organizations across Canada.  We foster informed and continuous, results-oriented discovery and innovation across the continuum of healthcare.  We act with others to enhance the health of the people of Canada; to build the capability for high quality care; and to help ensure value for money in publicly financed, healthcare programs.

SOURCE Canadian Patient Safety Institute

For further information: For media inquiries, please contact: Cecilia Bloxom, Director of Communications, Canadian Patient Safety Institute, Phone (780) 700-8642; Lucie Boileau, Director, Communications, Marketing and Government Relations, HealthCareCAN, Phone (613) 241-8005 ext. 205,


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