Reporting systems enhance quality of health care services

WHO/Jana Potuckova

Any system for reporting adverse events should definitely not serve to punish health care providers, health professionals participating in a recent conference in Bratislava, Slovakia said. On the contrary, such a system should serve as a learning opportunity for them as well as for decision-makers to take proper measures to improve the environment in health care facilities, including the working conditions of the staff.

More than a hundred health professionals from public, private and nongovernmental sectors attended the conference on 19-20 January 2011. They discussed how to define and ensure quality of health services and how to make best use of the system of reporting adverse events in health care.

The conference on “Patient Safety and Health Care Services Quality Assessment Using Standards, Norms and Measurement Tools” was jointly organized by WHO/Europe and the Slovak Ministry of Health within the framework of the Biennial Collaborative Agreement for 2010-2011.

The objectives behind the conference were to:

  • provide a common platform for discussion and information exchange on practices, barriers and success factors to reporting safety failures in various health care-related fields in selected European countries and compare them with the situation in Slovakia;
  • explore the missing links and the potential for integration of current reporting functions/ systems for adverse event at various levels of care; and
  • use the evidence and international experience to set milestones for further action.

Presentations were made on a wide range of topics, including rational use of medicines and pharmacovigilance as element of a patient safety strategy and antimicrobial resistance and its impact on health. Experts from Austria, Czech Republic and the United Kingdom shared their experiences in systems of reporting adverse events in health care.