October 3, 2007: Reporting Medical Errors

View a multimedia report of the event

The Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) invites you to join us for an insightful and provocative discussion:

Reporting Medical Errors

Date: Wednesday, October 3, 2007
Presentation: 6:30 p.m.
Reception: 8:00 p.m.
Location: George Ignatieff Theatre, University of Toronto, 15 Devonshire Place (see map)

Everybody makes mistakes, but in a hospital these “adverse events” can have life or death consequences. Is the public adequately informed? What do healthcare practitioners know that they aren’t telling us? More importantly, what’s being done to improve accountability and reduce the number of errors? Join Sunnybrook’s Physician-in-Chief Dr. Wendy Levinson, RN Virginia Flintoft, Cancer Care Ontario CEO Dr. Terry Sullivan and Globe and Mail public health reporter André Picard for a discussion about these and other issues surrounding medical error reporting.
After the panelists’ presentations, there will be a Q&A session with the audience followed immediately by a cocktail reception where panelists and guests can continue the discussion.

There is no cost to attend the event, but guests must register online or e-mail info@cjf-fjc.ca

Dr. Wendy Levinson

Physician-in-Chief, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre
A world-renowned researcher, Dr. Levinson was appointed as a Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in 2003. She has an extensive record of publications, grants, and honours for her array of research work, which includes physician-patient communication, disclosure of medical errors and promoting a culture of safety, and informed decision-making by patients.  Her research has spanned a number of highly relevant policy issues including the relationship of medical malpractice to breakdown in communication, the effectiveness of primary care physicians and surgeons in helping patients to make informed decisions, and the relationship of communication to patient satisfaction. She has led studies funded by the U.S. National Institute of Aging and the Agency for Healthcare Policy and Research on informed decision-making between surgeons and elderly patients, and disclosure of medical errors to patients. In addition, Dr. Levinson has contributed to large-scale training programs to enhance the skills of primary care physicians and surgeons in communicating effectively with their patients.

Dr. Terry Sullivan
President and Chief Executive Officer, Cancer Care Ontario
Formerly the President of the Institute for Work and Health, Dr. Sullivan has been with CCO since 2001. Sullivan is a leader in developing tobacco control policy and has headed up previous government committees dealing with anti-smoking initiatives. In 2003, he chaired the committee that produced the landmark report, Cancer 2020, in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society and public health authorities which laid out targets for cancer prevention.

Virginia Flintoft
RN / National Project Manager, The Canadian Adverse Events Study
Virginia Flintoft is a registered nurse and project manager for the Safer Healthcare Now! Central Measurement Team at U of T’s Department of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, and national project manager of the Canadian Adverse Events Study. In May 2005, Ms. Flintoft was diagnosed with Stage 3 colon cancer and experienced various adverse events as a patient, including a delayed diagnosis, a reaction to chemotherapy and wrong medication. She completed her chemotherapy in July 2006.

André Picard

Public health reporter, Globe & Mail
Mr. Picard has written extensively on public health issues and has been honoured by many bodies for his outstanding work over the years. He has been nominated for National Newspaper Awards in beat reporting for his work on such stories as the impact of the SARS outbreak on nurses; the dangers to young hockey players from body-checking; and the health effects of trans fatty acids. He has also been honoured numerous times by the Pan American Health Organization’s Centennial Journalism award program, the Canadian Nurses Association, and has won the Canadian Policy Research Media Award and a Michener Award. Mr. Picard, who is based in Montreal, was on the forefront of reporting on Canada’s tainted blood crisis in 1992, going on to write hundreds of stories about the men and women who died. He wrote On The Gift of Death: Confronting Canada’s Tainted Blood Tragedy about this low point in Canada’s health care history.