News release

New Policy for Reporting Serious Events

The province is working with health care partners to enhance patient safety with a new policy that improves and standardizes reporting serious incidents.

Beginning Sunday, Dec. 22, health care professionals at district health authorities and the IWK will begin providing standardized information on serious adverse events that cause disability or death. The information will not identify patients or providers.

"We want to improve patient safety and quality," said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine. "The new standard for reporting serious events will show us how the health system is performing and identify trends or areas of concern. Then we can work with health care providers on solutions."

The policy defines serious adverse events and lists the information required to be reported. It is modelled on Saskatchewan's Critical Incident Reporting Guidelines and the United States' National Quality Forum's list of Serious Reportable Events.

In Nova Scotia each year, there are about 100,000 inpatient and day visit surgeries, 665,000 emergency room visits, 100,000 ground and air ambulance transports, and more than a million diagnostic imaging tests.

"Health care providers across the province are working on ways to improve the quality of the care they provide," said Catherine Gaulton, vice-president of performance excellence and general counsel for Capital Health. Ms. Gaulton is also chair of the board of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute and the Nova Scotia Health Organizations Protective Association, and vice-chair of the Nova Scotia Quality and Patient Safety Advisory Committee.

"This policy will help increase transparency of reporting, improve communication and tracking, and help us build a culture of patient safety and quality in our organizations."

Mr. Glavine said the province will report results later next year.

For more information, visit http://novascotia.ca/dhw/qps/.

FOR BROADCAST USE:

The province has a new policy for reporting serious events in health care.

Beginning on December 22nd, district health authorities and the I-W-K will provide standardized information to the province about serious incidents that cause disability or death. The information will not identify patients or providers.

Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine says a common way of reporting will help show how the health system is performing and identify trends or areas of concern that the department can work on with health care providers.

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Tony Kiritsis
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