From the Haupstadtkongress – Patient safety, what can be done on a European level?

Posted by MedTech Europe on 28/05/09
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Listening to a distinguished panel of experts chaired by Bernard Merkel of DG Sanco I get the impression that things are moving to raise the level of patient safety. I was interested to learn that DG Sanco has commissioned a study to rate Member States in their efforts to combat patient safety. This “black list” of countries basically names and shames the worst offenders in patient safety in Europe. I’ll be interested to see if data such as this will help move the needle in this pressing topic in Europe. Let’s hope it’s the right approach – only time will tell.

Roxana Radulescu Policy Officer at the European Patients’ Forum, an organisation representing approximately 150 million patients with chronic diseases across Europe, raised a simple and yet important point – patients’ experiences and views should be taken into account when trying to prevent and improve the level of patient safety in Europe.

Last but not least, Kaj Essinger representing the European Hospital and Healthcare Federation stressed a point which unfortunately did not make it into the European Commission’s Communication and Recommendation on Patient Safety and Hospital Acquired Infections – working with targets. I feel targets might be just as effective as naming and shaming to help hospitals and clinicians across Europe in deciding what the targets should and could be?

Mark Grossien

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