Not all meds get along: Celebrating a successful Canadian Patient Safety Week!

Thursday, 8 November 2018

Dan Costigan, Senior Director Strategic Communications at the Canadian Patient Safety Institute shares the outcomes of the Canadian Patient Safety Week, which aimed at engaging the general public, health providers and leaders in making patient safety a priority in Canada.


This year, Canadian Patient Safety Week engaged people accross the country and around the world on medication safety. Through this campaign titled Not All Meds Get AlongCanadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI) encouraged patients and healthcare professionals to start a conversation about medication safety issues through various resources and especially using the 5 Questions to Ask About Your Medications. The Not All Meds Get Along campaign found widespread support among not only healthcare practitioners, but also among the general public and government representatives.

During the week of October 29 to November 2, CPSI hosted and featured activities and resources to help healthcare professionals and members of the public safely manage medications.

Our first major event was a webinar with over 340 participants, which taught ten best practices for reducing inappropriate medication use. Engaging questions followed each speaker, and attendees reported tremendous satisfaction with the session.

The next day, 13 members of Patients for Patient Safety Canada from across the country held a series of meetings in Ottawa with political representatives from every party. “Patients At Parliament” met with 30 Members of Parliament and Senators, speaking about their personal experiences with harm. Many MPs and Senators committed to promoting medication safety at upcoming committee meetings and locally within their ridings – while showing their support with social media posts from their official accounts.

The week ended with the inaugural virtual screening of “Falling Through the Cracks: Greg’s Story.” Healthcare providers, administrators, and members of the public joined the streaming video session from almost 600 sites across the country and around the world, engaging in a lively Twitter Talk with members of the Price family after the film.

During the week, CPSI promoted other ways to engage with patient safety and reduce medication risks. The second season of our award-winning PATIENT podcast, medication safety quizzes for healthcare providers and the public, and a “Caption This” contest captured public attention. Finally, a petition created for the House of Commons in support of plain labelling requirements on non-prescription medications and natural supplements already collected nearly 500 signatures.

The results speak for themselves. Over Canadian Patient Safety Week itself, there were over 2000 mentions of #asklistentalk and #NotAllMedsGetAlong hashtags on social media channels, with a social reach of over one million impressions per day. The campaigned was featured in media releases across the country from provincial governments and partner organizations.

Thank you for participating in CPSW and remember to check out CPSI’s patient resources.