The report by the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance in Ireland is now published. Titled ‘Building a culture of patient safety’ the report sets out a governance framework for patient safety and quality in Irish public healthcare.
At 242 pages long, this is a comprehensive and extensive report (and it contains 219 mentions of the word ‘governance’ – Ed.).
The vision around which a health system-wide governance framework for patient safety should be based is stated in the report as “Knowledgeable patients receiving safe and effective care from skilled professionals in appropriate environments with assessed outcomes.”
Healthcare Governance Review spoke to Dr Deirdre Madden, Chairperson of the Commission on Patient Safety and Quality Assurance, about the report. In particular we asked her about the report’s focus on effective governance as a means by which a culture of patient safety and quality can be effected.
Dr Madden said that “Medicine is not a risk-free enterprise; errors occur in every healthcare system in the world. However, we must never be complacent about errors, and must recognise and face the serious consequences that errors have for patients, their families and the clinicians involved. We must develop a positive patient safety culture by putting in place structures and systems that ensure effective governance in our healthcare facilities based on strong and clear reporting relationships and delegated levels of authority, robust accountability mechanisms and patient involvement at all levels of healthcare decision making. We must ensure that the potential for error is minimised to the greatest extent possible by strong professional leadership on safety and quality, active participation in audit, and commitment to sharing lessons learned from adverse events. A system-wide approach to safety and quality will help to ensure that wherever a patient receives care, it will be safe and effective, delivered by appropriately skilled professionals in facilities that are well governed, fit-for-purpose and have patient safety as their paramount priority in all that they do.”
Readers are strongly encouraged to read the report, which, in the opinion of Healthcare Governance Review, paints the most complete and comprehensible understanding of healthcare governance that presently exists anywhere in the world.
Download a copy of the report here.