The keys to improving patient safety

Reducing risks in healthcare

In the developed world, it is estimated that one in ten people suffer avoidable harm caused by a range of errors or adverse events in the course of receiving hospital care. How we organise the healthcare workforce today is at the heart of what safe and sustainable care might look like for future generations.

Held in response to the publication of the findings in the report from Health Education England’s Independent Commission on Education and Training for Patient Safety, Deloitte Centre for Health Solutions convened a roundtable discussion to deliberate on the critical issue of patient safety.

Key solutions

Following debate on the challenges, 10 solutions were identified:

  1. Acknowledging that safety requires adequate initial investment to enable transformation
  2. Understanding that patient safety as a model of organisation can serve as a way to reduce variations in care
  3. Transforming the education and recruitment agenda across all levels of professionals is vital to behavioural and cultural change
  4. Viewing human factors (ergonomics) as an organising principle rather than just a side-effect
  5. Using Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) as potential enablers for collaboration and a means to achieve process improvement and safer services across organisations
  6. Changing organisational behaviour through leadership with knowledge that is gathered at grass-roots
  7. Utilising real time data to facilitate organisational learning on what, who and how to measure and plan for possible safety risks
  8. Standardising systems and simplifying processes by engaging people in the design and encouraging organisations to have an intelligent appetite for risk and to try new things
  9. Implementing preventative and anticipatory approaches to health that reduces patient risks by preventing individuals becoming patients in the first place
  10. Making better use of the opportunities of the variety of people engaged in health and the perspectives they bring, such as non-executive directors (NEDs), patients and volunteers.
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