Hospital partnerships develop new resources for safer care

31 January 2013 - Geneva |The World Health Organization (WHO) released today a resource package of practical tools specifically aimed at improving patient safety in hospitals in developing countries. The resource package was co-developed by frontline health professionals through a pioneering WHO programme, African Partnerships for Patient Safety (APPS) that pairs 14 African hospitals each with a hospital in England, France or Switzerland.

Through the programme, health professionals from partnered African and European hospitals have developed a variety of ways to work together and support each other to provide safer care. They have worked closely with WHO’s Patient Safety Programme to adapt resources such as the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist specifically to the context of African hospitals.

“This unique approach to tackling patient safety through partnerships between hospitals in Africa and Europe is paving the way for improving patient safety across the African region,” says Dr Shams Syed, who oversees the programme at WHO. “The tools co-developed by this programme are now available free to any hospital anywhere in the world that wants to take action to improve patient safety,” he adds.

The resource package includes online training seminars and templates to help hospitals to identify and take action on specific priorities such as infection prevention and control, safe surgery and health-care waste management.

African Partnerships for Patient Safety was established in 2009 in response to a call from 46 Ministers of Health in WHO’s African Region for urgent action to address “the serious problem of patient safety”.