Quality and Safety Network Webinar: The National Safety Programme in the Netherlands

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Quality and Safety Network Webinar: The National Safety Programme in the Netherlands

26 January 2021 - 3:00 am - 4:00 pm CET

On 26 January 2021, HOPE co-hosted with PAQS (Plateforme pour l’Amélioration continue de la Qualité des soins et de la Sécurité des patients) the webinar “The Dutch Hospital Patient Safety Programme”.

This was the sixth webinar of the Quality & Safety Network series whose purpose is to promote and share best practices and experiences across Europe in the area of quality of care and patient safety. The webinar presented the Dutch Hospital Patient Safety Programme, introducing its implementation, outcomes and impact.

Steffie van Schoten and Cordula Wagner, from the Patient Safety research group -a collaboration between NIVEL (The Netherlands Institute for Health Service Research) and Amsterdam Public Health research institute- started by providing a background on patient safety in The Netherlands.  In The Netherlands adverse events in hospitals are measured every 4 years using a retrospective patient record review, reports showed that of 70 studies a 6% were preventable harm.

The Dutch Patient Safety programme started in 2008, with a duration of 5 years, and its aim was to decrease adverse events by 50% in all Dutch hospitals. To achieve such goals the programme used the implementation of safety management systems and 10 care-related themes. The 10 themes included topics such as: catheter related sepsis and severe sepsis, surgical site infections, medication reconciliation and vulnerable elderly. For each theme, hospitals received a practical guidance with aims and indicators. In addition, national conferences and regional networks were done to support the hospitals in the implementation. To ensure the validity of the programme, several evaluations took place in 2013, 2016 and a final one will present its results in 2021.

The implementation and the 10 safety themes were evaluated using a random sample of 19 hospitals. Visible improvements were achieved in some indicators such as medication reconciliation at admission or early recognition and treatment of pain. While some indicators showed no change, like surgical site infections or contrast-induced renal failure, other indicators presented fluctuating trends like risk medication and medication reconciliation at discharge. Nevertheless, the consequences were overall positive, the results from 4 Dutch national adverse event studies of deceased hospitals patients showed a huge improvement since 2004 to 2012 when the programme ended.

Once the programme concluded in 2012, further implementation was left to individual hospitals and norms were incorporated in the NIAZ (Dutch accreditation body).  As studies showed no longer improvement since the end of the programme a Second National Safety Programme has been launched in 2020. The new programme will work for 4 years in all hospitals. However, the strategy varies, as it no longer pushes for guideline implementation but focuses on reflection, interprofessional collaboration and explaining process variation in daily practice. The new programme also looks to foster more patient involvement and shared decision making.


The full webinar is accessible on YouTube by clicking here, and the presentations are also available here (end of the page).




26 January 2021
3:00 am - 4:00 pm
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