New policy for reporting serious incidents in province

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HALIFAX - Nova Scotia has a new policy for reporting health-care incidents, and it is hoped this will enhance patient safety.

Beginning Dec. 22, standardized information on serious events that cause disability or death will be reported by health care workers at district health authorities and the IWK. Those involved will not be identified.

"We want to improve patient safety and quality," said Health and Wellness Minister Leo Glavine, in a news release. "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."

Every year there are about 100,000 surgeries, 665,000 emergency room visits, 100,000 ground and air ambulance transports, and more than a million diagnostic imaging tests across the province.

Catherine Gaulton, vice-president of performance excellence and general counsel for Capital Health, 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, said the policy will increase transparency of reporting, improve communication and tracking, and help build a culture of patient safety and quality.

Results are expected to be reported late in 2014.

More information can be found online at http://novascotia.ca/dhw/qps/ .

Organizations: Capital Health, Patient Safety Institute, Nova Scotia Health Organizations Protective Association Nova Scotia Quality Patient Safety Advisory Committee

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