B.C. implements web-based reporting
The government of British Columbia has invested $2.3 million towards the
development of a province-wide patient safety learning system, based on
the success of pilot-testing at two B.C. hospitals, announced Health
Minister George Abbott (pictured).
Funding from the province will allow the B.C. Patient Safety Task Force
to begin initial implementation of the patient safety learning system,
which assists healthcare professionals and facility staff in reporting
incidents. According to the province, it’s one of the first of its kind
“We are committed to continuously looking for ways to improve patient
safety throughout British Columbia,” said Abbott. “We need to learn from
adverse events if we are to reduce risk-related incidents in hospitals
and health facility settings.”
The web-based reporting and learning tool was piloted at the Neonatal
Intensive Care Unit at BC Women’s Hospital, as well as at the Vascular
and General Surgery Unit at Vancouver General Hospital. The project was
evaluated by the Ministry of Health, the BC Patient Safety Task Force
and provincial health authorities.
Adverse events are more easily captured now by more healthcare
professionals and support staff, and with greater accuracy. Between May
and July 2007, the patient safety learning system showed an increase in
patient safety reports at B.C. Women’s Hospital. Reports submitted
during a 10-week period between June and August 2007 at Vancouver
General Hospital’s Vascular and General Surgery Unit also showed an
increase in patient safety events recorded by healthcare professionals
and support staff.
“By providing health professionals with a system to identify concerns or
incidents, we can ensure that patients have the safest environment where
they receive care,” said Dr. Doug Cochrane, chair of the BC Patient
Safety Task Force.
Patients in British Columbia are encouraged to take responsibility for
their health by being actively involved through discussions with their
The Canadian Patient Safety Institute’s national campaign, held this
month, has urged hundreds of healthcare organizations and professionals
across the country to become involved by promoting the role of
communication. The theme of the campaign is “Patient Safety: Be
Involved. Ask. Talk. Listen.”
Since 2001, British Columbia has introduced a number of new patient
safety measures and strengthened existing safety measures, including
expanding B.C.’s PharmaNet system and creating a Ministry of Health
division dedicated to patient safety.
In January 2005, the Province announced $10 million to continue making
B.C. the safest place to be a patient, which included $6 million over
three years to support the Patient Safety Task Force, the Provincial
Infection Control Network (PICNet BC) and the first academic Chair in
Patient Safety at UBC.
B.C.’s Patient Safety Task Force’s website is available at