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By ISQua & IHF Friday. Feb 28, 2020

Joint Statement on Patient Safety Featured

The International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua) and the International Hospital Federation (IHF) attended the World Health Organization (WHO) Consultation on Global Patient Safety 2020-2030 in Geneva, Switzerland, from 24th - 26th February 2020.


The challenges facing people receiving care and the difficulties in providing safe care were discussed by over 100 experts from over 40 countries, to develop a road map for the WHO to recommend to its member states. To this end, WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus announced a new WHO Flagship Initiative: A Decade of Patient Safety 2020-2030, which will respond to the global movement and the latest developments in the area of patient safety.


IHF and ISQua will support key elements of the work to be undertaken in the Patient Safety Decade so that health and healthcare can be safe in the future. In partnership, we will support the key learnings from the consultation, including:


  1. Leadership and the development and facilitation of a culture of safety are key foundations for a safe system. This includes the psychological safety of individuals.
  2. Patient safety must be included in health policy as well as other policies that impact on health.
  3. The people's voice and coproduction of safety with citizens, patients and their families is a non-negotiable part of developing a safe healthcare system
  4. A focus on human factors and designing systems for safe care delivery is fundamental to safe care.
  5. Providers and all relevant staff must be educated in the science and practice of patient safety. Patient safety should be embedded in higher education as well as in continuous professional development.
  6. Learning systems need to be established to share best practices, people’s experiences, as well as from critical incidents across the globe.
  7. Safety must be an integral part of Universal Health Coverage all along the continuum of care.
  8. Measurement must be practical, easy to do, and valuable to those taking the measures. Resulting data should be able to tell a story, demonstrate an impact and relate to relevant indicators to ensure continuous improvement.
  9. All interventions need to be based on research in patient safety, required to provide the evidence base.
  10. Global challenges and infection control awareness campaigns must be conducted, and learnings must be spread.
  11. Sufficient human and financial resources must be allocated to support the proper development of all of the above key points.   


Person safety in healthcare should be normalised, considered as a daily practice and as a core dimension of healthcare. All of the key elements must be based on shared values such as transparency and willingness to overcome disciplinary barriers. Patient safety is a universal issue for which the concept of glocalization applies, as it must be implemented according to local specificities while respecting the global action plan to improve safe care worldwide.


The spread of these key learnings can be amplified in our global and flexible networks who rapidly disseminate what works and what can be learnt.


IHF and ISQua commit to placing patient safety at the core of our work. We contribute to the development of clinical and safety programmes in specific areas, such as medication safety and infection control. Simultaneously, we accelerate profound system understanding so that safe processes can be designed.


Further reading:


Joint Statement from ISQua & IHF on Patient Safety - February 2020


WHO Flagship Initiative: A Decade of Patient Safety 2020-2030 - WHO's response to global call for action on patient safety



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