How HQBC is Advancing Patient Safety

Since HQBC’s inception, we have known that patient safety is critical for quality care. In fact, it is one of the seven dimensions of quality in the BC Health Quality Matrix.

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We first published the Matrix in 2009, after which the definition of quality was adopted by the province’s health authorities, Ministry of Health and many health organizations when setting priorities and caring for people. We published an updated version in February 2020 which expanded the safety dimension to include fostering security and trust in addition to avoiding physical, cultural and psychological harm.

We Believe


A transparent health system is one in which patients and families have an accurate understanding of their care. When the health system including patients and families work together, outcomes improve, people have more positive experiences with the system and staff feel more confident about their work.

We continue to implement the In Plain Sight report recommendations to dismantle Indigenous-specific racism within BC’s health care system. As part of this, we published Principles to Guide the Development of an Indigenous Patient Feedback Process to lay the foundation for creating a safe, accessible and meaningful process for Indigenous patients and families to share their experiences within health care.

Building on this work and specifically Principle 3: Take a Restorative and Accountable Approach, we are co-hosting with the Ministry of Health a Restorative Leadership Symposium in November with the aim to develop and enhance systems understanding and support of restorative approaches at the governance, executive and management levels.

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Authentic engagement also helps build trust and foster stronger connections between providers and patients and goes a long way to improving patient safety. We also developed A Guide to Authentic Patient Engagement to support people working in the health care system who are planning or continuing to include patients, families and caregivers in their efforts to improve health care in BC. Patient and families are key to designing care, identifying harm, and reviewing areas for improvement.

We also continue to work with health system partners to update and implement sepsis care guidelines, monitor rates, identify areas of improvement, and support measurement of safety and effectiveness in surgical care through the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program (NSQIP). HQBC also supports training to ensure health care providers effectively disclose and are comfortable in communicating information with patients and families when incidents happen.

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To learn about patient safety work going on with our partners and find resources check out the following organizations:

BC Patient Safety & Learning System is a web-based tool used by health care professionals across BC to report and learn from adverse events, good catches (near misses), and hazards that occur in health care settings.

Healthcare Excellence Canada is a national organization that works with partners to spread innovations, build capability and catalyze policy changes so that everyone in Canada has safe and high-quality health care.

As We Move Forward


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