Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Patient safety lagging

  • Print

Manitoba, as with the rest of Canada, generally compares well in an international review of quality of health care. But there are notable weaknesses, and one of them is in patient safety. The report prepared by the Canadian Institute of Health Information, comparing OECD countries, is useful for context in the discussion of medical error, which arose in the wake of a recent rash of tragic incidents involving ER patients.

CIHI selected a number of indicators -- either specific procedures and health conditions or events in the delivery of medical care -- that it could measure and compare in its analysis. Manitoba did well in vaccinating its elderly people for flu and management of diabetes and asthma to keep sufferers out of hospital. Cancer care services, too, generally showed well in the comparison, but in three of five areas measured to gauge patient safety, Manitoba showed poorly.

CIHI cautions that the patient safety comparison is relatively new, and it may be that Canada's reporting is better than others. But it is clear, the national centre for data collection said, there are issues to address. The number of surgical patients Manitoba hospitals discharged with foreign objects forgotten inside them, for example, was exceptionally high, and in Canada, only Quebec was worse. Trauma during childbirth -- typically vaginal tears -- also was high.

The failings in patient safety should be read in tandem with Canadians' self-reported views on their experiences in medical care. Comparatively, more Canadians felt they didn't have sufficient time with doctors or good understanding of what their doctors were advising. Also, they felt left out of the decisions being made in their care.

The findings on patient safety should not be dismissed, despite potential weaknesses in comparison. Manitoba spends more per capita than the Canadian average and significantly more than its peer countries in the OECD. It keeps patients longer in the hospital and has more acute care beds. Improving patient safety here does call for more but smarter spending and a recognition of the problems that can and must be fixed.

Editorials are the consensus view of the Winnipeg Free Press’ editorial board, comprising Catherine Mitchell, David O’Brien and Paul Samyn.

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 27, 2014 A8

Fact Check

Fact Check

Have you found an error, or know of something we’ve missed in one of our stories?
Please use the form below and let us know.

* Required
  • Please post the headline of the story or the title of the video with the error.

  • Please post exactly what was wrong with the story.

  • Please indicate your source for the correct information.

  • Yes

    No

  • This will only be used to contact you if we have a question about your submission, it will not be used to identify you or be published.

  • Cancel

Having problems with the form?

Contact Us Directly
  • Print

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

You can comment on most stories on winnipegfreepress.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is be a Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscriber to join the conversation and give your feedback.

Have Your Say

New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press print or e-edition subscribers only. why?

Have Your Say

Comments are open to Winnipeg Free Press Subscribers only. why?

The Winnipeg Free Press does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. These terms were revised effective April 16, 2010.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

LATEST VIDEO

Winnipeg Cheapskate: Cheap summer weekends

View more like this

Photo Store Gallery

  • A gosling stares near water at Omands Creek Park-See Bryksa 30 day goose challenge- Day 25– June 21, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)
  • A young goose   reaches for long strands of grass Friday night near McGillvary Blvd-See Bryksa 30 Day goose challenge- Day 19 - May 23, 2012   (JOE BRYKSA / WINNIPEG FREE PRESS)

View More Gallery Photos

Poll

Will you miss Grandma Elm?

View Results

View Related Story

Ads by Google