Patient safety has been identified internationally as a health care priority. Adverse events (AEs), broadly defined as unintended harm to the patient that is related to health care and/or services provided to the patient rather than the patient’s underlying medical condition, 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 ED Research team at CHEO is conducting research 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 ED. This information will help us to improve the safety of ED care for all Canadian children.