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SafetyAsset - Patient safety as an asset in social and health care - research and development project

Systematic development of patient safety is considered necessary internationally and in Finland. Insufficient quality of care causes suffering and incurs costs. It has been estimated that hundreds of people die every year in Finland because of harm caused by medical care. New health care law and the patient safety strategy created by Ministry of Social Affairs and Health obligate organizations to be active in patient safety work. In first stages of patient safety development, emphasis has been on the actions of individual professionals and in modifying immediate preconditions of their work (e.g. improvement of hospital hygiene, development of medication dispensation practices, implementation of surgical checklists). Besides this, it is essential that patient safety is understood as a characteristic of the whole system and as a matter of management. In health care there is little expertise on safety management when compared to other safety critical domains (e.g. nuclear power industry, aviation), where a lot of effort has traditionally been devoted to systematic management of safety.There is a shortage of expertise on patient safety management and of functional, research based practices and tools.

The goals of the project are to

- develop an innovative model for patient safety management, that is client-centred and takes into consideration the complexity of the health care organizational network, continuity of care and the well-being of the personnel

- develop tools that support patient involvement in the process of care, organizational learning, proactive risk assessment and development of overall safety

- promote distribution of good practices in patient safety management in Finland

- promote development of innovative services and products in relation to patient safety management.