Have you ever experienced a patient safety incident?

Did you know that in Canada, patient safety incidents (PSIs) are the third most common cause of death behind cancer and heart disease?

A patient safety incident is a preventable action (or inaction) that causes a patient to need prolonged health care and/or results in disability or death.

In 2015, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) launched the Patient Safety Week (PSW) campaign to raise awareness that every year, 28,000 Canadians die from preventable harm while receiving health care. The goal of this year’s theme—Conquer Silence—was to empower and encourage patients to speak up in the moment if something feels, looks or is outright wrong.

PSW is a time where patients are encouraged to #ConquerSilence and share about harm they have experienced personally or has affected a loved one or witnessed first-hand in the health care system. It is also a time for health care professionals to explore how they can #ConquerSilence around patient safety incidents.

How leaders worked to #ConquerSilence

Across social media, patients, families and health care providers rallied to raise awareness to #ConquerSilence. A few leaders who shared their voice included:

• Strategic Lead in Patient Partnership at the Canadian Foundation for Healthcare Improvement (CFHI), Julie Drury, shares her ‘medical mom’ experiences in creating a safe space for patients, families, and caregivers to speak up to reduce harm. Watch the video here.

Listen to the new PATIENT Podcast episode where Robin McGee from Patients for Patient Safety Canada, nurse Abigail Hain and CPSI CEO Chris Power discuss how by conquering silence, we can begin to work together to solve the health care issues we face.

Check out the Alberta Health Services’ eSIM Provincial Simulation Program which aims to open the conversation to #ConquerSilence around preventable health care harm.

How can you help #ConquerSilence?

Take advantage of CPSI’s resource library to help #ConquerSilence throughout the year.

Download pictures sized for social media and your website, as well as other shareable resources.

Get inspired and motivated by patient and family stories.

Learn from providers who share their experiences and efforts to #ConquerSilence and reduce harm.

Share your story about patient harm to help others learn from your experience at conquersilence.ca.