Interim Health Information and Quality Authority and World Health Organisation launch collaborative project on Patient Safety
The interim Health Information and Quality Authority is joining forces with the World Health Organization's (WHO) World Alliance for Patient Safety to undertake a major collaborative project on patient safety. The project will involve patients, family members and clinicians. Together they will develop International Consensus Guidance, together with a set of tools and resources for communicating with and supporting patients; their families and clinicians in the aftermath of a patient safety event.
This initiative will work towards establishing an open environment for communication to facilitate more responsive, positive outcomes for patients, their families and health professionals. An international Patient Safety Conference will be held in Ireland to launch the project. Collaborating with WHO will ensure that this initiative benefits all WHO Member States.
Welcoming the project, Mary Harney TD, Minister for Health and Children said "Patient safety and quality of care are driving the reform of our health services. I have made patient safety a personal priority and this collaboration will complement the work of the Patient Safety and Quality Assurance Commission, which I recently established. In particular I have asked the Commission to examine how we can drive more effective reporting of patient safety events, an area which will also be examined by this collaboration. I fully support the interim Health Information and Quality Authority and the World Alliance for Patient Safety in their endeavours and I look forward to the outcomes of their work."
Mrs Margaret Murphy, a patient advocate said, "Patients and families recognise that healthcare is not risk-free and while we cannot give permission for any level of error, we do accept that sometimes things go wrong. When this happens we deserve an acknowledgement of error, open and transparent communication, evidence that learning has occurred and improvements implemented to prevent reoccurrence. I am convinced that this project has the potential to facilitate healing for patients, their families, and clinicians while also advancing learning within the system".
Dr Tracey Cooper, Chief Executive of the interim Health Information and Quality Authority said; "We're delighted to be working with patients, their families and clinicians in what is such a fundamental aspect of high quality of care - supporting people when patient safety events occur. For Ireland to be taking the lead in developing such guidance is an exciting and important opportunity for our public, our staff and our health system. We're very pleased to be working with the World Alliance for Patient Safety in heralding this work and developing a relationship with them that can only benefit our health system".
Sir Liam Donaldson, Chair of the World Alliance for Patient Safety said; "Every time I meet a patient or a family who has suffered because of a health care mistake, I know we are not working fast enough to make the far-reaching changes needed to improve patient safety. We need to act quickly, we need to set clear goals and we need to be accountable to patients everywhere. Despite the comprehensive programme of the World Alliance for Patient Safety and the growing commitment to action on patient safety, much remains to be done. We are very pleased to be working with the interim Health Information and Quality Authority in Ireland to improve patient safety."