Get Involved!

Are you interested in promoting and improving the safety and quality of Alberta’s healthcare system? Do you want to see changes in this area? If so, the Health Quality Council of Alberta is looking for volunteers to join its Patient/Family Advisory Panel. Click here for more information.

Ask a Question

Did you know that more than 100,000 Canadians are unintentionally harmed during hospital stays in 2014-2015? Unfortunately, some of these incidents result in permanent damage or even death. To help increase patient safety, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute has initiated a campaign called the “Questions Save Lives Campaign.” What question would you ask your doctor to make your health care safer?
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Click here to find out more about the campaign and how you can get involved.

Clinical Trials – To Participate or Not

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Clinical trials are becoming more popular and as such, the demand for participants is increasing. Unfortunately, oft times patients who are being asked to participate or are considering joining are unclear about the nature of the study and what their involvement would entail. This, in turn, makes deciding whether or not to get involved in the study more difficult.

To address this issue, The Center for Information & Study on Clinical Reseach Participation has a number of questions on its website that may be of assistance to individuals contemplating clinical trial involvement. Here are five of the questions they list.
1. What is the main purpose of this study?
2. Does the study involve a placebo or a treatment that is already on the market?
3. How will the treatment be given to me?
4. How long is the study going to last and what will I be asked to do as a participant?
5. What has been learned about the study treatment and are any study results published?

To reading the list, click here. What, if any, questions would you add to this list?

Uncovering Medical Errors

According to a recent study done by researchers at John Hopkins University, the number of inpatient deaths from medical errors have increased. With 251,000 error-based inpatient deaths occurring each year in the US, only heart disease and cancer cause more fatalities.

It is time to implement more aggressive measures to combat this epidemic of medical errors, even a measure that undoubtedly would not sit well with doctors, hospitals and, most certainly, their liability insurance carriers. But it is a measure that the health care industry should embrace if its No. 1 priority truly is patient safety. What is this measure? Doing away with keeping secret from the public the findings of hospital peer review committees.

Click here to read the full article.

ABC News: Health students doing ‘high-level tasks’ without training or supervision, union says


According to the Victorian Allied Health Professionals Association, the Victorian Government in Australia is placing patients at risk due to staff shortages. To address this staffing problem, individuals, who lack the necessary training, are performing “high-level tasks.” As the union explains, “Patients in need of x-rays, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and other allied professional services are being routinely left to the care of unqualified students and undertrained interns because there is not enough money in the system to support properly qualified staff and appropriate supervision.”

Although the story is Australia based, might this be happening elsewhere? Click here to read the article.