The Canadian interprofessional patient safety competencies: their role in health-care professionals' education

J Patient Saf. 2012 Mar;8(1):30-5. doi: 10.1097/PTS.0b013e3182468138.


Objectives: Ensuring the safe care of patients in any health-care setting is paramount for all health-care professionals. Recent research has shown that there are thousands of preventable adverse events happening each year in health care. As a result of these findings, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute was established in 2003 with a mandate to ensure the safety of health care in Canada.

Methods: One strategy to assist with this goal was the development of an interprofessional competences framework to help improve patient safety across the health-care continuum.

Results: This paper will report on the framework development process, which resulted in the identification of 6 domains that represent overall patient safety competencies. The domains are as follows: (1) contribute to a culture of patient safety; (2) work in teams for patient safety; (3) communicate effectively for patient safety; (4) manage safety risks; (5) optimize human and environmental factors; and (6) recognize, respond to, and disclose adverse events.

Conclusions: The intent of this framework is that these domains, including the underlying knowledge, skills, and attitude competencies, can be applied to all health-care professionals in any setting. In addition, as one explores each competency, it is evident that an interprofessional approach is essential to ensuring patient safety.

MeSH terms

  • Canada
  • Health Personnel / education*
  • Humans
  • Interprofessional Relations
  • Medical Errors / prevention & control
  • Professional Competence*
  • Safety Management*