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Towards a global and integrated patient safety policy: Principles and recommendations

In comparison with other sectors such as civil aviation or the nuclear industry, where disasters are spectacular, there is little incentive to manage healthcare-related risks. In the healthcare field, adverse events are frequent but not very visible. National adverse events surveys conducted in 2004 and 2009 have shown that the frequency of these events had not fallen, despite measures taken. Most of the time, only sectorial policies (blood, medication, etc.), in reaction to a specific sanitary crisis, are implemented.

The French High Council for Public Health pleads in favor of a global and integrated patient safety policy to be clearly stated at the national level. The report develops five recommendations to anchor this policy while underlining the need for coordinated, integrated and graduated organization of healthcare-related risk management, the need for collective and individual commitment from professionals and active participation from patients and users.

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