Quality and Safety Network webinar: Fifteen years of the Spanish Patient Safety Strategy: pitfalls and lessons learned

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Quality and Safety Network webinar: Fifteen years of the Spanish Patient Safety Strategy: pitfalls and lessons learned

20 April 2021 - 3:00 pm - 4:00 pm CEST


On 20 April 2021, HOPE co-hosted with PAQS (Plateforme pour l’Amélioration continue de la Qualité des soins et de la Sécurité des patients) the seventh webinar of the Quality & Safety Network series. Dr. Yolanda Agra Varela, PhD, MHs General Direction of Public Health Spanish Ministry of Health, provided an overview of the evaluation of the Spanish Patient Safety Strategy implemented since 2005.

Dr. Yolanda Agra Varela started by introducing the beginnings of the Strategy, based on the recommendations from international organisations, such as WHO, and from national experts. It was later updated for the period 2015-2020 with input from all the stakeholders. The Spanish Ministry of Health (SMoH) is the coordinator in collaboration with the eighteen Health Regions, Scientific Societies, patients and other stakeholders. The overall objective is to improve patient safety in all clinical settings in the NHS.

The evaluation process was designed regarding a multifaceted approach, including indicators, audits and questionnaires as well as based on six strategic lines: culture and education, safety practices, risk management, patients, research and international participation.

Regarding the patient safety culture, previous evaluations disclosed weaknesses regarding the workload and the support of managers. As training is the key to changing the mindset of professionals, a national programme was launched and online courses with a database are freely accessible. Moreover, a positive result is that most public hospitals developed a patient safety programme in the country.

As for the patient safety practices, they are implemented in a framework of multimodal programmes that are coordinated at the national, regional and local levels following the principles to engage and educate professionals, execute the actions and undertake evaluation. The results of the indicators are presented annually at a meeting held with all the coordinators, to discuss barriers and facilitators as well as proposed actions for improvement. Dr. Yolanda Agra Varela presented the evaluation process of these programmes with varying results: medication safety practices, a hand hygiene programme, a critical patient safety programme, a surgical safety programme, a patient identification procedure and a management plan for serious adverse events.

Furthermore, she underlined the critical role played by the SiNASP for risk management promoted by the SMoH. Used in eleven Health Regions, the SiNASP is a system of reporting and learning from incidents identified at the local level by the professionals. She also mentioned the significant patient involvement considering a high share of hospitals which declared that they had a welcome plan for patients as well as the large majority of patients feeling safe or very safe in hospitals.

Finally, she summarised aspects that must be considered when adapting and adopting successful multimodal strategies in other contexts, key facilitators, achieved objectives and the future challenges.


Webinar PowerPoint presentation

Full webinar recording


20 April 2021
3:00 pm - 4:00 pm