Health Information Management

Canadian Patient Safety Officer Program


PLEASE NOTE: We will no longer be accepting enrolments into this program after May 31st, 2022. 

Healthcare Excellence Canada (HEC), formerly known as the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), and HealthCareCAN (HCC) have decided to retire both the in-person and online Canadian Patient Safety Officer course. We have been proud to work together over the last decade to train more than 750 patient safety professionals across Canada and internationally.

We are currently developing a new patient safety program, to be launched in the fall of 2022. For more information about the new program or to inquire about enrolling in the current program before the end of May, please contact us.

The Canadian Patient Safety Officer Program (CPSO) is jointly developed and delivered by the Canadian Patient Safety Institute (now part of Healthcare Excellence Canada) and HealthCareCAN, supported by experts from across Canada and internationally.

This program equips healthcare professionals and leaders with the information, tools and techniques to build a strong patient safety culture within their organizations.

Why Take This Program?

  • Comprehensive patient safety program
  • Ideal for those leading patient safety work as well as clinicians, allied health professionals, educators, managers in any part of the continuum of care
  • The only program of its kind in Canada
  • Includes video interviews with key patient safety experts
  • Enrol anytime, learn at your own pace
  • Supported by dedicated faculty coaches
  • Opportunities to interact online with peers and faculty
  • Includes self-reflections to guide learning and growth

This program is an Accredited Group Learning Activity (Section 1) as defined by the Maintenance of Certification Program of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada, and approved by the University of Ottawa’s Office of Continuing Professional Development. You may claim a maximum of 54.0 hours (credits are automatically calculated).

This one-credit-per-hour Group Learning program meets the certification criteria of the College of Family Physicians of Canada and has been certified by the University of Ottawa’s Office of Continuing Professional Development for up to 54.0 Mainpro+ credits.

  • It is strongly recommended that participants currently work in a healthcare environment
  • There is a required textbook for this program which must be purchased independently by the student, it is not included in the tuition price.

Book title: “Patient Safety, 2nd Edition” authored by Charles Vincent

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN: 978-1-405-19221-7

ISBN: 978-1-444-34807-1

  • Approximately 120 hours
  • Take up to 12 months to complete, at your own pace
  • $2295 CAD
  • $2495 International

At the completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Use tools and techniques to develop a patient safety program
  • Recognize system-induced patient safety incidents
  • Recognize human factors related to patient safety, such as non-technical skills or fatigue
  • Understand high-risk clinical processes
  • Develop strategies to influence and enhance patient safety culture
  • Foster communication, teamwork, and organizational culture as it relates to patient safety
  • Examine other special and emerging topics in patient safety

Unit 1: What is Patient Safety?

  • Recognizing patient safety from a systems level perspective across the continuum of care
  • Summarizing  key points in the  history of the patient safety movement both nationally and globally
  • Explaining basic language and common terms used in patient safety with reference to WHO taxonomy
  • Citing examples of major findings from benchmark studies including the “Canadian Adverse Events Study”
  • Describing the relative contribution of the individual and the system to patient safety

Unit 2: High Reliability and Resiliency in Healthcare—Using a Complexity Science Lens

  • Defining complexity science
  • Describing key attributes of high reliability organizations and how they relate to healthcare
  • Applying elements of a safety management system taken from high reliability organizations
  • Recognizing the principles of reliability science
  • Explaining how the elements of resiliency contribute to safer care
  • Recognizing opportunities to improve patient safety through the use of standardization
  • Explaining how measurement can be used to monitor, improve, and sustain reliable system performance

Unit 3: Human Factors—Designed for Patient Safety

  • Defining human factors and human factors engineering
  • Applying human factors theory to patient safety situations
  • Examining patient safety situations using the “Human-tech Ladder”
  • Discussing the importance of cognitive biases and their impact on patient safety
  • Applying the ‘hierarchy of effectiveness’ to patient safety situations

Unit 4: Safety Culture Measurement & Improvement

  • Defining “Just Culture”
  • Differentiating between culpable and non-culpable acts
  • Understanding the nature and importance of culture and relationship with patient safety
  • Evaluating current culture – Measure, track, and monitor culture
  • Identifying and testing ideas to improve the patient care experience

Unit 5: Teams & Communication for Safer Patient Care

  • Gaining an appreciation for the degree to which “non-technical” human error contributes to incidents and accidents
  • Understanding the essential components of Crew Resource Management, its use, its challenges, and its potential application within the healthcare environment
  • Understanding how current and emerging (CRM) tools and techniques are being used to help enhance communication, team synergy, and trap error
  • Informing the patient, family, healthcare organization, media and the broader community after a critical incident (this will include the development of a crisis communication plan and the building of key messages for the specified target audience)
  • Using a variety of communication tools and techniques to enhance and assess understanding on the part of patients and their families
  • Explaining the relationship between effective teamwork and improved patient care and safety

Unit 6: Incident Management—Preventing, Managing, Learning and Sharing Patient Safety Incidents

  • Describing a culture supportive of reporting, disclosing, learning and sharing
  • Establishing a clear and consistent approach to disclosure and apology related to harm that supports patients, families and healthcare providers to heal and rebuild trust
  • Applying the “Canadian Incident Analysis Framework” using the six-step incident management continuum
  • Identifying the key elements of an effective communication approach when working with patients, families, healthcare organizations, media and the broader community after a critical incident
  • Developing a crisis communication plan and then building key messages for specified target audiences
  • Predicting a range of responses healthcare providers and their families may experience during and following an adverse event

Unit 7: Using Quality Improvement Methods to Create a Safer Healthcare System

  • Using the Model for Improvement to guide setting AIMs, establishing measures, identifying change ideas, and testing those changes through PDSA cycles
  • Using improvement charters to document and communicate the aim, identify the team and the plan for testing and implementing changes
  • Integrating change management approaches to minimize resistance and maximize success of patient safety initiatives
  • Embedding measurement and evaluation techniques into your patient safety program.
  • Developing system level strategies for achieving, sustaining, and spreading better practices
  • Applying Front-Line Ownership (Liberating Structures and Positive Deviance) techniques to move from the “what to do” to the “how to do” when facilitating improvement work

Unit 8: Capability Building – Strategy & Structure

  • Recognizing the central role patients and families have in creating a safer healthcare system
  • Identifying key strategic and operational factors for successful change management
  • Mitigating against or manage disruptive conflict during change
  • Describing the role of board and senior leadership in supporting quality patient safety improvement
  • Understanding the physician perspective in establishing partnerships for quality and patient safety improvement
  • Identifying appropriate levers to support quality and patient safety improvement

Canadian Patient Safety Officer Program Quick FAQ

  • What will I achieve at the completion of this program?

    At the end of this program you will receive a certificate from CHA Learning.

  • After I finish this program, can I use the title Patient Safety Officer?

    In Canada, there is no formal, professional designation for patient safety officers and no body that certifies professionals. In other words, it is not a credential that can be used after your name (e.g.: like BSc. or MHA) However, you can include this on your resume related to your educational experience.

“The Canadian Patient Safety Officer Course is a very comprehensive course that gives great insight to and knowledge of patient safety. I would highly recommend this course as a starting point to your understanding and knowledge development of patient safety.”
—Kirsten M.,
“CHA Learning was the perfect fit for me. I was able to work on the course material on my own time and integrate it into my current workload. I found the material relevant and necessary for my role as a Patient Safety Consultant. Thank you CHA Learning!”
—Amy B.,

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