Safe medical care research

In over a century of providing advice and assistance to physicians, the CMPA has accumulated the largest collection of physician-related medical-legal data in the world. Using innovative quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques, the CMPA is able to gain insights and identify gaps that affect safe care.

In 2016, the CMPA established an evidence synthesis team comprised of researchers, physicians, nurses, and statisticians. The group investigates the current state of scientific evidence to gain a fulsome understanding of the patient safety landscape and to help shape the CMPA’s work in safe medical care.

In the past, we have shared insights with members through risk management information and education. Today, we are also sharing our findings by publishing in peer-reviewed journals.

We look forward to making our research available to physicians and researchers working in quality improvement, patient safety and medical education to empower safe medical care.

Published articles

  • Using medicolegal data to support safe medical care: A contributing factor coding framework (article)
    This methodological paper discusses a new patient safety-informed framework developed by the CMPA, which acknowledges the effects of team, organizational, and system factors, in addition to physician care. This new approach revolutionizes the way the CMPA codes its medical-legal data, and improves understanding of the many factors that contribute to patient safety events.
    McCleery A, Devenny K, Ogilby C, Dunn C, Steen A, Whyte E, et al. Using medicolegal data to support safe medical care: a contributing factor coding framework. J Healthc Risk Manag [Internet]. 2018 Aug 3 [cited 2018 Nov 19]; Available from:

  • Improved hospital safety performance and reduced medico-legal risk: an ecological study using two Canadian databases (article)
    This paper analyzes two Canadian databases, the CMPA and the Discharge Abstract Database, to determine if there was a relationship between in-hospital patient safety events and medico-legal cases involving physicians in Canada. This study is novel in that there are very few like it based on Canadian data and it shows the practical use for medico-legal and patient safety data, which can be used to improve patient safety and quality of care.
    Yang Q, Zhang C, Hines K, Calder LA. Improved hospital safety performance and reduced medicolegal risk: an ecological study using 2 Canadian databases. CMAJ Open [Internet]. 2018 Nov 19 [cited 2018 Nov 23];6(4):E561–6. Available from: