Safety and Risk Management

Respiratory Therapists (RTs) contribute to a culture of safety for patients/clients , healthcare team members, and others, and adhere to risk management processes.

Performance Requirements

Recognize situations or environments involving risks to the safety of patients/clients, healthcare team members, and others.

Plan, implement and evaluate preventive measures whenever possible.

Manage immediate risks to the safety of patients/clients, healthcare team members, and others and respond effectively to eliminate or mitigate harm.
Provide full and frank disclosure of all patient safety incidents in keeping with relevant legislation and employer policies.
Report incidents using established/appropriate processes.

Take part in timely risk event analysis and reflective practice to prevent a recurrence.

Ensure appropriate processes are in place for the proper maintenance and cleaning/disinfection/sterilization of equipment.
Monitor equipment for and during use, including but not limited to:

  1. activation of appropriate alarms,
  2. proper functioning and application, and
  3. patient’s/client’s response to the applied technology
Perform procedures in accordance with applicable legislative, regulatory, employer, and manufacturers’ requirements.
Handle and dispose of dangerous substances and materials (e.g., biohazardous materials, medical gases, and liquids) in a safe manner according to best practices and established protocols (e.g., WHMIS).
Use preventative measures to reduce/eliminate hazards and maximize the health and safety of themselves, patients/clients, healthcare team members and others (e.g., protocols and policies related to occupational health and safety and wellness).
Participate in safety training programs (e.g., emergency preparedness), safety audits, and risk management activities as per legislative, regulatory, and employer requirements.
Collaborate and communicate effectively with other healthcare team members to maximize patient/client safety and the quality of care.

Patient / Client Expected Outcome

Patients/clients can expect the delivery of safe care by RTs.


Communicates refers to “give or exchange thoughts, feelings, information… by writing, speaking, etc.; to exchange thoughts, feelings, or information easily or effectively.”[1] It implies a two-way communication process between the speaker and recipient involving active listening and reception.

Healthcare team refers to “peers, colleagues, and other healthcare professionals (regulated and non-regulated).”[2]

Near misses refer to “a patient/client safety incident that did not reach the patient/client. Replaces close call.”[3]

Patients/clients refer to individuals and their families requiring care or services. This may also include his/her substitute decision-maker or guardian.[4]

Timely refers to “happening at the correct or most useful time: not happening too late.”[5]


  1. Adapted from Dictionary.Com. (2017). Online Dictionary. Available at:
  2. College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario. (2010). A Commitment to Ethical Practice. Available at:
  3. Canadian Patient Safety Institute. (2012). Canadian Incident Analysis Framework. Available at:
  4. Adapted from College of Respiratory Therapists of Ontario. (2010). A Commitment to Ethical Practice. Available at:
  5. Merriam-Webster. (2016). Online Dictionary. Available at: