A study conducted in 2009 in six countries of the Eastern Mediterranean Region showed that up to 18% of hospital admissions were associated with patient harm as a result of medical interventions.
World Health Organization (WHO) started the Patient Safety Friendly Hospital Initiative (PSFHI). This initiative is to enhance the implementation of patient safety practices in healthcare facilities.
This initiative involves the implementation of a set of patient safety standards in hospitals. Compliance with the standards ensures that patient safety is a priority and that healthcare facilities and staff implement best practices. The standards were developed and revised by a group of regional and international experts.
The initiative was pilot tested in seven countries of the Region (Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, Pakistan, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen) and experts were trained to conduct an initial baseline assessment, based on the standards and implementation guidelines, in one pilot hospital in each of the countries.
The Patient safety assessment manual was first published in 2011. The manual represents 139 standards that cover the different domains of patient safety. The second edition was published in 2016.
Patient safety friendly hospital standards
A set of requirements that are critical for the establishment of a patient safety program at the hospital level. They provide a framework that enables hospitals to assess safe patient care, the assessment is voluntary and is conducted through an external, measurement-based evaluation.
It started with the WHO Regional Advisory Group on Patient Safety as the primary assessment team. The group assessed hospitals to determine whether or not they complied with the WHO patient safety standards and patient safety performance indicators. Assessment has several benefits for hospitals. It demonstrates to the public commitment and accountability regarding patient safety.
The ultimate goal of the initiative is to improve the level of patient safety in hospitals by creating conditions that lead to safer care, thus protecting the community from avoidable harm and reducing adverse events in hospital settings.