Queen's University

Nurse scientists receive $1 million to study patient safety

 
2009-12-04

A collaborative research team led by Queen’s University’s School of Nursing has been awarded $1 million to investigate ways to resolve patient safety and risk issues in the Canadian health-care system.

The five-year funding, from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, will enable researchers from Queen’s Joanna Briggs Collaboration (QJBC) to determine the best, evidence-based nursing practices to provide people in both clinical and community care settings with safe, reliable health care.
 
“Patient safety is a pressing priority in the Canadian health care system,” says nurse researcher Margaret Harrison, who heads the new initiative. “In particular, patient safety in settings outside of hospitals has been neglected and is poorly understood. This is troubling, given that care previously delivered in hospitals is increasingly now being transferred to ambulatory, home and residential care.” 

Working with the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) and Accreditation Canada (formerly known as the Canadian Council on Health Services Accreditation), the Queen’s group will lead the analysis of available research and develop best practices to improve patient safety.

“This new initiative will greatly advance evidence-based nursing and health care practices facilitating the improvement of patient safety across Canada,” says CPSI CEO Philip Hassan. “We are very excited about our new collaboration with this high quality, academic/clinical practice partnership group from Queen’s.”
 
A 2007 study by Accreditation Canada found that the overall rate of “adverse events” – when there is unintended harm that results from care or service – among hospital patients was 7.5 per cent. The report suggests that, of the almost 2.5 million annual hospital admissions in Canada similar to the type studied, about 185,000 were associated with an adverse event and close to 70,000 were potentially preventable.

“We hope that our initiative will advance best practices to help change these disturbing statistics,” says Dr. Harrison. “Our goal is to improve the quality and reliability of practice, and ultimately health outcomes, by enabling a proactive use of best available evidence on patient risk and safety.”

The Queen’s Joanna Briggs Collaboration, an academic-practice partnership, is a unique Canadian initiative that provides leadership and support in evidence-based health-care practice. Begun in 2004, it was the first North American affiliate of the international Joanna Briggs Institute based in Australia and remains the only Canadian partner.

 

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