Patient Safety Current Research
How Safe are our Pediatric Emergency Departments? A National Prospective Cohort Study
Patient safety has been identified internationally as a health care priority. 1,2 Adverse events (AEs), broadly defined as unintended harm to the patient that is related to health careand/or services provided to the patient rather than the patient's underlying medical condition, 3 represent a significant threat to patient safety and public health. To date, patient safety research has focused on admitted patients. However, most Canadians, and especially children, are more likely to visit an Emergency Department (ED) than to be admitted to hospital. Little research has been conducted on pediatric patient safety in the ED. We have no evidence about how common AEs are among children seen and treated in EDs in children's hospitals. Such knowledge is an essential first step to understand how to improve the safety of pediatric EDs and ultimately children's health outcomes.
The purpose of the study is to better understand patient safety in the emergency department. Specifically we want to learn about the frequency, severity and preventability of adverse events occurring among children in the emergency department. This information will help us to improve the safety of emergency department care for all Canadian children.
UPDATE: Enrollment in this study is now complete. More than 800 families participated in this trial. Our findings will be published in the coming year.