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Kathleen Finlay

Kathleen Finlay is founder and CEO of The Center for Patient Protection, helping to capture the wisdom of patients and families in combating medical errors and reducing emotional harm in the hospital setting.

Kathleen Finlay is founder and CEO of The Center for Patient Protection, a champion of safer, more transparent and compassionate care for patients and families.

Previously involved in public policy and capital markets regulation, Kathleen's career took a sudden and unexpected turn following the six-month hospitalization of her elderly mother. It was an experience that made Kathleen determined to play a role in changing a system that is too often lacking in transparency and accountability and leaves too many patients and families injured and devastated by the emotional harm of medical errors. Today she is recognized as a leading voice for patients and families in the campaign to reduce medical errors, and for the significant benefits and cost savings that safer care and reduced incidents of emotional harm can produce.

Kathleen is a frequent media commentator on healthcare and patient safety issues. She can be reached at
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We Must End the Silence Surrounding Hospital Suicides

In Canada, it's not clear to what extent inpatient suicides, or unsuccessful attempts that lead to disability, are considered "never events" by healthcare decision makers, or who is keeping track of them for that matter. The fact is there is a wall of secrecy that surrounds hospital suicide and attempts at self-harm in Canada.
09/15/2015 12:17 EDT
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Keep Ageism Out of the Hospital

A new Canadian study shows that age is a critical factor in the kind of treatment patients receive. According to the research, which involved patients with traumatic spinal cord injuries, "patients over 70 years of age experienced considerable delays between admission and surgery."
07/07/2015 05:37 EDT
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Quiet Heroes Are Making Hospitals Safer

Visit any major city in North America and you will quickly discover the link between cash and name recognition in healthcare. Some rich person gives a few million to an urban hospital and their name goes up on a wing. Recently, a generous $3 million donation to Toronto's Mount Sinai Hospital was celebrated in a full-page advertisement in Canada's national newspape
06/24/2015 12:30 EDT
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Canada's Healthcare System Should Be More Transparent Like the U.S.

In the U.S., the Center for Patient Protection recently reviewed the data top hospital rating organizations provide about hospital safety performance. They cover the smallest community hospitals right up to the biggest teaching facilities, in a format where access to the information is quick and user-friendly. You won't find similar information anywhere in Canada.
05/28/2015 05:33 EDT
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We Must Address the Abuse of Anti-Psychotic Drugs in Hospitals

A government agency in Ontario has called for nursing homes in that province to re-evaluate their use of antipsychotic medications like quetiapine (marketed under the brand name Seroquel). What is missing from these studies and investigations, however, is what is happening with these drugs in hospitals. I learned about Seroquel, like so many patients and families have, the hard way.
05/20/2015 05:25 EDT

Three Ways to Help Your Family Navigate a Safer Hospital Experience

When patients cannot be fully engaged with their care and the decisions being made, that responsibility becomes the family's. There is no more precious gift you can give your mom or dad than the gift of hospital safety. My mother's doctors repeatedly warned that her demise was imminent. Without a vigilant family, it would have been.
05/08/2015 08:31 EDT
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Canadian Doctors Should Learn to Apologize

Patient Protection Canada has heard from families across the country and beyond about their horrible hospital experiences. Almost none ever received an apology. That cold, hard reality is backed up by my own experience involving the lengthy hospitalization of my elderly mother a few years ago. Despite raising a number of questions and concerns about these and other matters, and never even hinting at legal action, no apology was ever forthcoming from this major hospital.
12/20/2014 02:56 EST
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When Will Governments Get Tough on Sexual Harassment?

It's no longer a matter of discretion on the part of employers to permit smoking in the workplace. Why? Because its effects are known to be toxic. Sexual harassment can be no less toxic to those affected. It's time our political leaders got that message. They need to stop allowing employers, including governments themselves, to turn a blind eye when sexual harassment and reprisals occur, and put in place tough laws that really protect women.
12/11/2014 05:36 EST
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For True Reform, Ask Women What They Need To Feel Safe

If a woman decides to leave the organization because of what she perceives to be a lingering toxic atmosphere, she will often have problems finding another job. Why? Nobody gets a good reference from an employer that was the subject of a sexual harassment complaint. Yet, human rights tribunals and the courts have made reprisals for asserting the right to be free from sexual harassment one of the most difficult types of discrimination to prove.
11/24/2014 03:04 EST