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RESEARCH AND BRIEFINGS

Multi-Patient Incidents

 


"Hospital to pay $1.7M in class-action settlement after more than 400 people tested positive for tuberculosis"

“[Class action launched] against Hopital Montfort, located in Ottawa, Ontario, to secure recovery for persons whose confidential personal health information was stored on a USB key which was lost by an employee of the hospital. The lawsuit claims $25 million in compensation.”

"Class action lawsuit filed against hospital, former staff and Fleming College"

Similar headlines are becoming increasingly commonplace within the Canadian health care landscape as health care organizations are not only tasked with managing issues related to patient care, safety, and security, but also with the protection of their most important asset: their reputations.

As the health care environment continues to evolve, organizations are tasked with “doing more with less,” resulting in the emergence of systemic issues that often result in adverse events. The landmark study To Err is Human published by the Institute of Medicine in 1999, highlighted these issues in the US specifically citing that a significant number of these adverse hospital events are preventable. Ross Baker’s 2004 Canadian study revealed similarly startling statistics, including:

  • out of 13 patients experience adverse events in Canadian hospitals.
  • 1 out of 9 adult patients will potentially be given the wrong medication of the wrong dose of a medication.
  • 24% of preventable adverse events are related to medication errors. Others include surgery and infections

In addition, there are now also new and emerging risks that include cyber-attacks, privacy breaches, and exposures relating to infectious diseases and hazardous materials.

With this evolution comes the need to identify key tactics and mitigation strategies to ensure the protection of patients and their families, and of the organization as a whole. The ability to respond effectively and efficiently to a large scale event or multi patient incident is critical, because regardless of how low the risk is, patients and their families value early notification.