Shifting Paradigms to Identifying & Responding to Harm in Health Care 


Kelly Smith’s presentation walked the audience through two case studies in the United States, in which the implementation of restorative principles and a human-centered model of responding to harm had profound results for patients, staff, and healthcare system.  


  • Dr. Smith provides an overview of the 7 guiding principles of the Communication and Optimal Resolution (CANDOR) system.   
  • Dr. Smith walks the audience through the implementation of a rapid 30-minute response process that was implemented at an urban hospital in Chicago, demonstrating how a human-centered response to harms not only improves outcomes for patients, their families, and healthcare providers, it also enables system learning that contributes to harm prevention.     
  • In the context of the US medical system, a human-centered approach based upon empathetic communication reduced liability costs by upwards of 90%, freeing up $90 million to be reinvested back into the hospital. 

Kelly M. Smith, Ph.D.
Michael Garron Chair in Patient-Oriented Research
Interim Chief Scientific Officer
Michael Garron Hospital – Toronto East Health Network

Associate Professor, Institute of Health Policy, Management, & Evaluation, University of Toronto

As the inaugural Michael Garron Chair in Patient Oriented Research and Interim Chief Scientific Officer at the Michael Garron Hospital and Associate Professor and Co-Lead for Outcomes & Evaluation in the Institute of Health Policy, Management, & Evaluation Graduate Program at the University of Toronto, Dr. Smith’s research focuses on coproducing practical solutions to challenges of healthcare delivery with a focus on patient safety through the application of improvement science. Dr. Smith is a leading investigator in patient-oriented research, forging partnerships with patients to codesign research and innovations to improve the quality and safety of healthcare delivery including programs such as the Seven Pillars, AHRQ’s CANDOR, the Guide to Improving Patient Safety in Primary Care Settings by Engaging Patients and Families, and the Toolkit for Engaging Patients to Improve Diagnostic Safety. Dr. Smith has led large scale implementation and evaluation projects for clinics, hospitals, health centers, and health systems across the U.S. that aim to better integrate evidence into practice.

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