Request medico-legal data

The CMPA offers medico-legal data and insights to CMPA members, on request, to support members’ quality improvement, research and teaching activities. The requested data is provided in a custom report that includes an analysis of the findings. We also publish medico-legal risk research for specific clinical specialties to help identify trends and ways to reduce risk. Learn about CMPA data.

To request data

Submit your data request online.

The CMPA welcomes members to collaborate with us to develop and implement novel ways of enhancing safe medical care.

Data request form >>

What to expect when you request data from the CMPA

  • The CMPA reviews submitted requests within 2 weeks. We may approve or decline your request.
  • We may decline a data request if it does not align with safe medical care goals or if there is insufficient data or resources.
  • If your request is approved, you will receive an estimated date for delivery of our report to you. In general, please allow 12 weeks for delivery of our report to you. Our research team may schedule a meeting with you to discuss your request.
  • You will receive a follow-up survey after you receive our report. This helps us to understand whether the report has answered your questions, and how you have used the data.

About CMPA data

The CMPA’s database contains information on over 500,000 medico-legal cases in Canada since 1975, making this the world’s largest resource for medico-legal data.

The data reflects the medico-legal matters with which the CMPA has assisted its members, including:

  • regulatory authority (College) complaints
  • hospital matters
  • legal actions

Data sources include:

  • medical records
  • College decisions
  • legal documents
  • peer expert opinions

Data elements include:

  • healthcare provider information (de-identified)
  • patient information (de-identified)
  • clinical information (e.g. clinical specialty, patient’s presenting condition, contributing factors for the patient safety incident, clinical outcome, reason for complaint or legal action)
  • service location (e.g. geographical location and care setting)
  • medico-legal case information (e.g. case type and outcome)

Contributing factors are a unique data element in the CMPA’s medico-legal database. This information captures provider, team, and system-level factors that contributed to patient safety incidents and led to complaints or legal actions. Learn more in "Using medico-legal data to support safe medical care: A contributing factor coding framework."

Limitations to CMPA data

The CMPA provides data in de-identified, aggregated form only, to protect the privacy of patients and healthcare providers.

Some limitations of CMPA data are inherent in the nature of medico-legal data and some are contingent on specific research questions. The sample size for certain research questions may not be large enough to draw specific conclusions. In such instances, our analysis of the data may either be limited to descriptive themes only, or an analysis may not be possible.

The most common limitations to medico-legal case data analysis include:

  • Limited representativeness. CMPA medico-legal cases represent a small proportion of overall patient safety incidents that occur. Further, Canadian physicians report College matters to the CMPA at their own discretion, which means not all medico-legal cases are captured in CMPA data.
  • Sample size limitations. The number of cases related to specific medical specialties, medical conditions, procedures, geographic regions, or a combination of these factors could be small.
  • Data reflects closed cases. Before a medico-legal case is closed, there is little or no information available for analysis. Because medico-legal matters take time to resolve, the analysis is often based on incidents that occurred years before the case is closed.

About information privacy and copyright

The privacy and security of information is paramount to the CMPA. The CMPA provides data in de-identified, aggregated form only.

See our privacy policy to learn how we collect, use, and share information.

The CMPA retains copyright on all published reports. Please consult the CMPA before using the data for publishing purposes or for public distribution.

For more information, please contact [email protected].