Healthcare Quarterly

Healthcare Quarterly 9(Sp) October 2006 : 10-12.doi:10.12927/hcq..18447

News and Events


[No abstract available for this article.]
Engaging junior doctors in patient safety campaign receives recognition for excellence

The National Patient Safety Agency's campaign to promote patient safety to doctors in training has received two awards from the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).

Acknowledging the critical role played by senior clinicians such as Professor Sir Graeme Catto, President of the General Medical Council, who contributed to program, the judges said, "A key reason for the success of this campaign was the case study book in which 14 of Britain's most senior doctors shared personal stories of their own mistakes to encourage a more open culture. Also important was communication on a peer-to-peer basis targeting junior doctors through an independent doctors' website."

Partners integral to the campaign included the British Medical Association, the Medical Defence Union, Medical Protection Society and Opinion Leader Research. The Excellence Awards recognize and reward best practice in public relations throughout the UK and acknowledge personal and team achievement at the highest professional level.

IT offers way to better aged-care practice

The Commonwealth Government is looking to the Internet to drive improvements in the quality and delivery of aged-care services nationwide, the Minister for Ageing, Senator Santo Santoro, recently announced. The Minister was announcing the Howard Government's agreement for the Joanna Briggs Institute to develop and maintain online clinical resources for the aged-care sector, at a cost of almost $1.1 million over the next two years.

Under the agreement, the institute will develop online resources which will include a database of evidence summaries and will provide information sheets, best-practice guides, and database tools to help users apply evidence-based practice.

Development of a Conceptual Framework for an International Patient Safety Classification

The World Health Organization's Alliance for Patient Safety has asked the APSF to lead the Working Group to develop the Conceptual Framework for an International Patient Safety Classification. The Working Group will develop and define the high level concepts to ensure that the Classification complies with the specifications required of all WHO Family of International Classifications.

WHO has commissioned another group to identify a list of critical concepts to be included in the classification.

Spanish Medical and Nursing Scientific Societies pledge support to patient safety

A number of Spanish Medical and Nursing Scientific Societies pledged support to Patient Safety within the framework of the scientific conference on Quality and Patient Safety in Health Care, where the National Study on Adverse Events (ENEAS) was presented.

The participating societies supported a joint declaration named "Professionals for Patient Safety" where they expressed commitment for Quality and Patient Safety in the National Health System.

Key elements of the declaration are: the professional societies pledged support to the National and Regional policies and strategies on patient safety; they expressed commitment for improving the organizational culture towards patient safety, enhancing the communication to patients and patients' participation in their own healthcare processes, fostering the adoption of best clinical practices, building professionals' capacity in risk management, setting up adverse-events monitoring and reporting systems, and fostering risk management and research for patient safety.

World Alliance for Patient Safety:
International Patient Safety Event Classification

The World Alliance for Patient Safety is embarking upon a consultation process (the "Delphi survey") for the International Patient Safety Event Classification (IPSEC). This process is designed to obtain vitally important feedback on the proposed conceptual framework, concepts and terms.

Practitioners and other experts interested in patient safety are invited to participate in the Delphi survey to ensure wide- ranging input. As a result of the feedback received, the IPSEC will be further revised. Field testing will commence in 2007. It is envisioned that the finalized version of the IPSEC will be available in 2008.
To access the Delphi survey visit:

New safety reporting requirements for registered medicinal products

In February 2005, Singapore's Center for Drug Administration (CDA) released new guidelines on safety reporting require- ments for registered medicinal products. The new guidelines apply to license holders who are responsible for bringing western medicinal products into Singapore. The guidelines define the types of safety-related reports that license holders are required to provide to the Pharmacovigilance (PV) Unit of the CDA and also define the timeline for which to do so. The new requirements cover three different types of safety reports: spontaneous suspected adverse drug reaction (ADR) reports, periodic safety update reports, and reports regarding regula- tory actions or actions taken by companies due to safety issues.


Halifax 6 - The Canadian Healthcare Safety Symposium - Safety Management: Changing the way we do things
October 19-21, 2006
Vancouver, BC
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The International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua) 23rd International Conference - Improving Healthcare: The Challenge of Continuous Change
October 22-25, 2006
London, UK
More information -

Nursing Health Services Research Unit (NHSRU) 5th International Conference - Practice to Policy: Global Perspectives in Nursing
October 25-27, 2006
Hamilton, ON
More information -

29th Annual Health Care Quality & Patient Safety Conference - Quality: The Pathway to Success
October 28, 2006
Chicago, IL
More information -

Practice Based Commissioning: Making It Work in Practice
November 1-2, 2006
Harrogate, UK
More Information -

ESCMID-SHEA Training Course in Hospital Epidemiology 2006
November 25-28, 2006
Baden/Vienna, Austria
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Inauguration of the Global Patient Safety Challenge "Clean Care is Safer Care"
December 4, 2006
Muscat, Oman
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2nd International Congress on Infectious & Tropical Diseases
December 4-7, 2006
Muscat, Oman
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Patient Safety Officer Executive Development Program
March 7-14, 2007
Cambridge, MA
More Information -

Using e-Therapeutics to Support Medication Safety

Improving the management of pharmaceuticals is important for the renewal of the healthcare system in Canada. Each year, preventable adverse drug events put the well-being of patients at risk and result in billions of dollars of cost to the healthcare system (Kidney and MacKinnon, 2001).

This gap in care - between the unsafe practices that are currently happening and the provision of optimal treatment to patients - is comprised of a number of factors. Inappropriate drug prescribing, inadequate monitoring and undertreatment all pose risks to the patient in an environment where drug therapy management has become increasingly complex.

In their 2005 Annual Report to Canadians, the Health Council of Canada recommended investment in unbiased, evidence-based drug information for physicians, pharmacists and patients as a way to help address this care gap. While healthcare providers are faced with an overload of information, many of these resources are out-of-date, don't reflect current practices or are influenced by industry.

Long recognized as a credible source of drug and drug therapy information, the Canadian Pharmacists Association has developed e-Therapeutics to respond to this call for unbiased, evidence-based information. e-Therapeutics was developed as a collaborative initiative involving a network of partners including: Health Canada, IBM Canada, Canada Health Infoway, Canadian Institute for Health Information, Nova Scotia and Alberta governments, and several national pharmacy, medicine and nursing organizations.

Delivered through a web portal with select content that can be downloaded to a Palm or Pocket PC device, e-Therapeutics gives practitioners access to the right information at the right time to make the right therapeutic decision. Therapeutic content is written by Canadian experts and rigorously reviewed by leading authorities in each clinical area, while drug information includes Health Canada-approved drug monographs. To this e-Therapeutics adds new drug safety information from Health Canada, a drug interaction analyzer (Lexi-Interact™), public drug plan coverage and links to references (Pub-Med), giving practitioners centralized access to the resources they need to inform their decision making.

e-Therapeutics has been developed using accepted health information standards and is designed to allow for integration in pharmacy dispensing systems, physician office electronic medical record systems and electronic health record applications. e-Therapeutics was made available to subscribers in April 2006.

In the 2006 Report to Canadians the Health Council of Canada has identified e-Therapeutics as a tool prescribers can use to improve drug therapy: "We urge prescribers to adopt this new tool to increase efficiency and accuracy of prescribing while preventing adverse drug events." . For more information about e-Therapeutics please visit or call 1-800-917-9489.

Kidney, T. and N.J. MacKinnon. "Preventable drug-related morbidity and mortality in older adults: a Canadian cost-of-illness model." Geriatrics Today 2001;4:120.

AMA response to IOM report on reducing medication errors

"The American Medical Association is committed to improving the quality and safety of health care and we welcome the IOM report. Patient safety is a responsibility that all physicians take very seriously.
"We agree with the IOM that increased communication between patients and physicians is vital to improved health care quality. Providing new, easy-to-understand resources for patients to obtain drug information will also help minimize the opportunity for errors.
"The marketplace for health information technology in the physician office is still very much in its infancy. There is great interest by physicians, quality experts and patients to implement electronic health records, e-prescribing and other health information technology tools that may improve patient safety. Yet physicians face a dizzying array of choices when trying to purchase HIT, while struggling with high costs, interoperability and ease of use. Just this week, the first product certification tool to help physicians make EHR purchasing decisions was introduced. We're encouraged by these first, solid steps to help physicians make purchasing decisions, but there is much more work to be done before the majority of physicians have the capability to do e-prescribing in a comprehensive way that includes safety and security capabilities."


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