Press Releases

February 16, 2011

Winnipeg Health Region part of a new international patient safety alert network

New initiative designed to share knowledge and prevent adverse events

The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority is one of just 22 organizations from around the world - including the World Health Organization - that is participating in a collaborative project aimed at preventing the recurrence of harmful events.

Historically, when an incident occurred in one region, other areas were not informed and so learning across jurisdictions did not occur.

The Winnipeg Health Region is currently the only health jurisdiction in Canada participating in this partnership project which will make patient safety alerts from around the globe now available on one site and available to both health care providers and members of the public via a net-based platform developed by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (please see attached release).

"Manitoba's steps in patient safety show a commitment to transparency, humility of leaders and the acknowledgement the system is imperfect," said Hugh MacLeod, chief executive officer of the Canadian Patient Safety Institute. "This honesty positions Manitoba as a leader in Canada and will set the stage for a transformation in patient safety."

"Manitoba has been a national leader in taking steps to improve patient safety, including the provincial patient safety alert system we launched just a few months ago," Manitoba Health Minister Theresa Oswald said. "Whether it's our new provincial alert system or the global alert system announced today, ensuring health facilities can learn from critical incidents in other jurisdictions will help us all make changes to further improve patient safety."

WRHA President & CEO Arlene Wilgosh echoed those sentiments. "Winnipeg has long been recognized as a national leader in the area of patient safety," she said. "We are honoured to have been asked to partner with these numerous prestigious organizations to further the patient safety effort."

The 'Global Patient Safety Alert' project will contain indexed summaries and links to more than 800 patient safety advisories, alerts and recommendations resulting from investigations into adverse events or critical incidents.

Kaaren Neufeld, WRHA's Chief Quality Officer said the Winnipeg Health Region has been posting Patient Learning Summaries on-line and distributing both internally and externally, "So our participation in this project is building on our past experience."

"It will be very helpful for us to see a composite of the experiences from around the globe and to learn from others. This will be an invaluable tool."

Global Patient Safety Alerts is publicly available at

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