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Patient safety

Saskatchewan requires error reporting

REGINA – Saskatchewan is taking a national leadership role with new formal critical incident reporting that will strengthen patient safety provisions in the province.

A “critical incident” is a serious adverse health event including, but not limited to, the actual or potential loss of life, limb or function.

Saskatchewan is the first province in Canada to introduce formal reporting of critical incidents. (The regulations on critical incident reporting came into effect September 15th.) This is a key element in providing quality improvements and increased accountability, as outlined in The Action Plan for Saskatchewan Health Care.

“This is another example of how we are putting patients first,” Health Minister John Nilson said. “That puts us very much at the leading edge of developments in patient safety initiatives in Canada.”

The purpose of reporting critical incidents is to improve patient safety by gathering all relevant information, and identifying opportunities for system-wide changes that could prevent similar incidents from occurring in the future.

“We need to improve Canada’s patient safety performance. Job one is knowing more about how and why adverse events occur,” Canadian Patient Safety Institute Chair Dr. John Wade said. “Saskatchewan’s pioneering critical incident legislation will help bring that information into the open and we will work to share the lessons learned here so that all of Canada can identify effective reporting methods and find safer practices.”

The regulations establish a framework for critical incident reporting to Saskatchewan Health by regional health authorities and healthcare organizations. Many health regions have already been reporting critical incidents on a voluntary basis.

“These regulations provide us with further opportunities to enhance patient safety,” College of Physicians and Surgeons Registrar Dr. Dennis Kendel said. “Patients deserve to receive the safest possible treatment, and as a physician, I applaud initiatives that promote a culture of safety.”

For More Information, Contact: Lindy McIntrye,Health Regina, (306) 787-8214;

Dr. John Wade, Canadian Patient Safety Institute,Edmonton, 1-866-421-6933.