WHO Publishes Multi-Professional Patient Safety Curriculum Guide

The new guide for educators will help them teach prospective dentists, doctors, nurses, and other health professionals more effectively about patient safety best practices, WHO officials say.

The World Health Organization has published the Multi-professional Patient Safety Curriculum Guide to help educators around the world train health professionals to bring about improvements in patient safety. In a foreword included in the guide, Sir Liam Donaldson, WHO's envoy for patient safety, writes that patient safety became a global movement following the Institute of Medicine's To Err is Human report in 1999 and a 2000 report from Britain's Chief Medical Office. "Yet, the current state of patient safety worldwide is still a source of deep concern," he notes. "As data on the scale and nature of errors and adverse events have been more widely gathered, it has become apparent that unsafe care is a feature of virtually every aspect of health care."

The guide includes teaching slides on 11 topics ranging from improving medication safety to effective teamwork and infection prevention and control, which is Topic 9. Its slides explain why patient safety has become an urgent concern (can't rely on antibiotics, increased rates of nosocomial infections, and infected patients stay in hospitals longer, may die, and are prone to surgical site infections) and discuss causes of infections and strategies for preventing them, including hand washing, housekeeping, and PPE.

WHO wants universities to start with Part A of the guide, which is an educator's guide containing advice on how to introduce and build patient safety courses. The organization has posted endorsement letters from the International Council of Nurses and the International Pharmaceutical Federation.

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