The Canadian Interprofessional Patient Safety Competencies: Their Role in Health-Care Professionals’ Education

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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.


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.


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.


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.

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