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Safer clinical systems : interim report, August 2010

By Matthew (Professor of clinical systems design) Cooke and HASH(0x558b6a4c2a20)


Safer Clinical Systems is the Health Foundation’s new five year programme of work to test and demonstrate ways to improve healthcare systems and processes, to develop safer systems that improve patient safety. It builds on learning from the Safer Patients Initiative (SPI) and models of system improvement from both healthcare and other industries.\ud Learning from the SPI highlighted the need to take a clinical systems approach to improving safety. SPI highlighted that many hospitals struggle to implement improvement in clinical areas due to inherent problems with support mechanisms. Clinical processes and systems, rather than individuals, are often the contributors to breakdown in patient safety. The Safer Clinical Systems programme aimed to measure the reliability of clinical processes, identify defects within those processes, and identify the systems that result in those defects. Methods to improve system reliability were then to be tested and re-developed in order to reduce the risk of harm being caused to patients. Such system-level awareness should lead to improvements in other patient care pathways.\ud The relationship between system reliability and actual harm is challenging to identify and measure. Specific, well-defined, small-scale processes have been used in other programmes, and system reliability has been shown to have a direct causal relationship with harm (e.g. care bundle compliance in an intensive care unit can reduce the incidence of ventilator-associated pneumonia). However, it has become evident that harm can be caused by a variety of factors over time; when working in broader, more complex and dynamic systems, change in outcome can be difficult to attribute to specific improvements and difficulties are also associated with relating evidence to resulting harm.\ud The overall aim of Phase 1 of the Safer Clinical Systems programme was to demonstrate proof-of-concept that using a systems-based approach could contribute to improved patient safety. In Phase 1, experienced NHS teams from four locations worked together with expert advisers to co-design the Safer Clinical Systems programme

Topics: R1
Publisher: University of Warwick
Year: 2010
OAI identifier:

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