GHF2010 – PS29 – Partnering Globally for Safer Care

Session Outline

Parallel session PS29, Monday, April 19 2010, 16:00-17:30, Room 2
Chair(s): Didier Pittet, Director Infection Control Programme, Geneva University Hospitals and University of Geneva; External Lead, Global Patient Safety Challenge, World Health Organization, Switzerland
Summary: Patient safety is critical for effective health systems in both developed and developing countries, as no country has yet solved the entirety of its patient safety issues. Clearly, there is a need to partner globally for safer care. This session offers an in-depth look at patient safety action at the global, regional, and country levels. In particular will be articulated the crucial steps in securing political commitment for patient safety. Use of 12 key patient safety action areas as an entry point to improve systems in the African Region will provide a case study and key WHO programmes on patient safety will be introduced. Finally, experiences from African countries will be given the floor and leadership of the Geneva University Hospitals in patient safety highlighted.
African Partnerships for Patient Safety: Enhancing Patient Safety Across Continents 
Shams Syed, Programme Manager, African Partnerships for Patient Safety, World Health Organization, Patient Safety, IER, Switzerland
Reducing Healthcare-Associated Infection Worldwide: Lessons Learned from the WHO First Global Patient Safety Challenge 
Benedetta Allegranzi, Deputy Lead, 'Clean Care is Safer Care', World Health Organization, Patient Safety, IER, Switzerland
Injection Safety: A Key Component to Achieving Primary Healthcare
Selma Khemassi, Injection Safety & Related Infection Control, Safe Injection Global Network, (SIGN) Secretariat, HSS/EHT/DIM, World Health Organization, Switzerland
Crisis of Ignorance or Inaction: Lessons Learned from a Study on Healthcare Waste Management Practices Nigeria 
Emmanuel Okechukwu, President, Action Family Foundation, Nigeria
APPS-Senegal: The Story So Far
Ndèye Méry Dia Badiane, APPS focal point, Senegal (via videoconference)
APPS-Cameroon: The Story So Far 
Vincent Djientcheu, APPS focal point, Cameroon
APPS-Mali: The Story So Far
Loséni Bengaly, APPS focal point, Mali (via videoconference)
Closing Remarks
Bernard Gruson, Chief Executive Officer, Geneva University Hospitals, Switzerland

Session Documents

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Session Video

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Session Report

Submitted by: Caroline Pepek (ICVolunteers); Contributors: Emma Greenaway (ICVolunteers), Josefine Ridderstrale (ICVolunteers)

alaria remains a killer disease with nearly 1 million people losing their lives every year. A girl with a mosquito net in Potou Niayam, Senegal. Photo: Maggie Hallahan/Olyset Nets

In the normal course of events, military and political alliances have often been a primary source of security for growing nations; yet now within our globalised culture, it is essential for nations to make international social connections. Accordingly, the union of nations can be achieved through collaborative medical learning based on the desire to improve patient safety. The international partnership of African nations and the United Kingdom, in particular, has proved incredibly successful in motivating participating nations to improve their patient safety policies.

In September 2008, the African Partnership for Patient Safety (APPS), part of the World Health Organization (WHO), established twelve action areas in various regions to set about creating and sharing a variety of solutions to problems with patient safety. Working in tandem with a number of European hospitals, the APPS focused on collaboration, strengthening partnerships and improving patient safety on both an individual and national level.

From the outset, the goal of these international partnerships was to reduce the risk of harm for patients as well as making healthcare practices safer for both patients and staff. APPS operates on the premise that the most important dimension in partnership is the recognition that co-development can improve the situation for both parties. The founders believe working within a partnership-oriented structure has the capacity to make a real difference.

As outlined during the session Partnering Globally for Safer Care, the need for an international partnership for patient security is growing. Shamis Syed, Programme Manager for APPS, explained the background behind the need for these collaborations. His definition of the problems surrounding patient security, “the avoidance, prevention and amelioration of adverse outcomes or injuries stemming from the process of health care”, clearly outlines the stresses forced on non-cooperative hospital bodies. However, through the APPS model, the partnerships allow for a free transfer of ideas, resulting in a more efficient and concerted drive towards enhancing the quality of these hospitals.

Attainable goals for APPS include the production of guidelines for patient safety and the implementation of training sessions. Mr Syed noted that these programmes have been incredibly successful in Mali, where professionals have been trained to operate new medical equipment.

Bendetta Allegranzi, Deputy Lead for the ‘Clean Care is Safer Care’ programme at the WHO, focused on patient safety with regard to infections. Although primarily focused on the spread of infectious diseases, the promotion of locally fabricated alcohol-based hand rub plays a major role in her programme. As the risk of infection is between 2 to 20 times higher in developing countries, there must be continued dedication to promotion of patient safety in these countries in order to reduce these figures.

Although Ms Allegranzi encourages hand and infection sanitisation, her work, along with the work of the other participating organisations draws attention to the need to promote patient and citizen safety in respect to more lethal diseases. HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis are major diseases which kill millions of global citizens every year and more action can be taken to prevent the spread of such diseases. Ms Allegranzi was emphatic in her call for the mobilisation of home governments in the face of these diseases, providing tools and technology to protect their own populations.

Didier Pittet, the Director of the Infection Control Program of Geneva University, expanded on the idea saying that it is essential for hospitals and governments to provide the proper tools to implement action in different cultures according to that culture’s priorities.


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