Sheridan Asked to Spearhead World Health Organization Consumer Initiative on Patient Safety

CHICAGO -- Susan E. Sheridan, MIM, MBA, co-founder, Consumers Advancing Patient Safety (CAPS) and immediate past president, Parents of Infants and Children with Kernicterus (PICK), has accepted an invitation to lead the consumer action area of the World Alliance for Patient Safety, launched last week by the World Health Organization (WHO) in Washington, DC.

Entitled Patients for Patient Safety, the action area is one of six that together comprise the World Alliance. Others include initiatives that focus on developing a common taxonomy on patient safety, fostering research, establishing guidelines for reporting systems and disseminating solutions to participating nations, as well as a 2005-06 global challenge to reduce injury caused by healthcare related infection. The World Alliance was instigated in response to Resolution WHA55.18, approved by WHO's 55th World Health Assembly in May 2002, which urged member states to pay the closest possible attention to patient safety and establish science-based systems for improving safety and the quality of care. Sir Liam Donaldson, MsC, MD, chief medical officer, Department of Health, United Kingdom, introduced the resolution and now chairs the World Alliance.

"We're delighted that Susan has agreed to lead the Patients for Patient Safety program," said Sir Liam. "She's a wonderfully articulate voice for patients and families and an inspiring motivator for us all. I'm pleased that Susan was the unanimous choice of the group assembled to plan this aspect of our program, which included patient advocates from several countries."

The first priority of Patients for Patient Safety will be an interactive Web site, accessible by people from anywhere in the world, followed by the establishment of a basic infrastructure for the inclusion and proactive participation of patients in each of WHO's six regions (Africa, the Americas, South-East Asia, Europe, Eastern Mediterranean, Western Pacific). "I look forward to working with the World Health Organization," said Sheridan, "and am particularly pleased that they involved users of healthcare at the ground level in the formation of Patients for Patient Safety. Whether people think of themselves as consumers, patients or citizens, whether they are from developed or developing nations, we all can play a role as partners in keeping our loved ones safe."

Source: Consumers Advancing Patient Safety

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