Health and Community Services
March 7, 2017
Increasing Patient Safety
Minister Haggie Introduces New Health Legislation
The Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services, announced today the Patient Safety Act, aimed at reducing and mitigating preventable harm within the health care system.
"The Patient Safety Act will bridge gaps in current legislation regarding mandatory reporting, quality assurance, patient access to information, and activities such as peer reviews. We must ensure that should a patient be harmed as a result of the care that was intended to help them, that they and their families are provided information and that the incident is appropriately reported and reviewed. The act will also ensure that quality assurance activities are conducted in a consistent manner, that health care providers can participate without obstruction, and meets the recommendations of Justice Margaret Cameron's report."
-The Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services
The Patient Safety Act will:
- Ensure patients and families have access to information about their care;
- Ensure regional health authorities consistently report to the Minister of Health and Community services on indicators such as hand washing;
- Establish regional and provincial structures to oversee quality assurance activities;
- Protect health providers who participate in quality assurance activities from reprisal; and,
- Address the recommendations of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Hormone Receptor Testing.
This legislation will mark the first time in Newfoundland and Labrador that patients and their families will have the statutory right to recommendations that are the result of a quality assurance activity related to an adverse health event.
For more information on the Patient Safety Act, please see the backgrounder below.
- New legislation is being introduced that will help reduce and mitigate preventable harm within the health care system.
- The Patient Safety Act will bridge gaps in current legislation regarding mandatory reporting, quality assurance, patient access to information, and activities such as peer reviews.
- The Patient Safety Act will address recommendations of the report of the Commission of Inquiry on Hormone Receptor Testing.
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Media Relations Manager
Department of Health and Community Services
Minister Introduces Legislation to Enhance Patient Safety
Highlights of the Patient Safety Act include:
- Requiring Regional Health Authorities to report to the Minister of Health and Community Services on indicators such as hand washing and infection rates.
- Mandating Regional Health Authorities to investigate certain events.
- Requiring Regional Health Authorities to establish Quality Assurance Committees to oversee activities such as investigations and peer reviews.
- Requiring government to establish a provincial advisory committee to oversee patient safety and quality assurance.
The Patient Safety Act addresses the following recommendations of the Report of the Commission of Inquiry on Hormone Receptor Testing:
It is recommended that the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador consider whether section 8.1 of the Evidence Act remains relevant.
It is recommended that any conflict between section 8.1 of the Evidence Act and section 12 of the Public Inquiries Act, 2006 be resolved in favour of permitting Commissions of Inquiry to have access to peer review and quality assurance reports
It is further recommended that legislation be enacted to specify that adverse event disclosure to patients included an explanation of why the adverse event occurred and what is being done to ensure that a similar event does not occur in future. Disclosure should also involve providing the patient with a copy of any peer review of quality assurance report respecting the adverse event. As explained in this report, the names of the individuals who participated in the peer review or quality assurance may be removed prior to disclosure. I recommend that these rights be entrenched in legislation and that they be given priority over any prohibition contained in section 8.1 of the Evidence Act.
2017 03 07 12:10 p.m.