Research Project

Preventing Adverse Events in Canadian Hospitals


The Canadian Institute for Health Information and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research jointly funded this national study to determine the extent of adverse events (an unintended injury or complication) in Canadian hospitals and the availability of data that could serve to monitor and reduce health system adverse events.

US studies estimate that between 44,000 and 98,000 deaths and more than one million injuries each year are related to largely preventable injuries or complications caused by health care management which result in disability, death or prolonged hospital stay. To date, there has been very limited reliable data on this problem in Canada, and no systems in place to routinely collect data that would be necessary for ongoing monitoring.


This study conducted systematic reviews of Canadian hospital charts from selected facilities in five provinces. One teaching hospital, one community hospital, and two rural hospitals were randomly selected from each province.


  • Canadian Institute for Health Information
  • Canadian Institutes of Health Research