Creating the Framework of Patient Safety

Infection Control TodayInfection Control Today, September/October 2023 (Vol. 27 No. 7)
Volume 27
Issue 7

A recent conference highlights patient safety in health care and aims to reduce risks and harm to patients during medical care. It's a response to the growing complexity of health care systems and the resulting increase in patient harm.

Hebah Al Zamel, BSN, MSN, CPHQ, CIC, a policy consultant and infection control practitioner at King Abdullah University Hospital, discusses the importance of patient safety with Infection Control Today.   (Photo courtesy of Hebah Al Zamel, BSN, MSN, CPHQ, CIC)

Hebah Al Zamel, BSN, MSN, CPHQ, CIC, a policy consultant and infection control practitioner at King Abdullah University Hospital, discusses the importance of patient safety with Infection Control Today.

(Photo courtesy of Hebah Al Zamel, BSN, MSN, CPHQ, CIC)

Health care professionals must prioritize patient safety, which was the central theme of the 12th International Nursing, Healthcare, and Patient Safety Conference held in Al Barsha, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, from July 25 to 27, 2023. Hebah Al Zamel, MSN, BSN, CPHQ, CIC, a policy consultant and infection control practitioner at King Abdullah University Hospital in Jordan, discussed the importance of patient safety. She highlighted the need to establish a comprehensive framework for effectively safeguarding patients. With many years in infection prevention and control, Al Zamel is well versed in the best practices and strategies required to ensure patient safety. She is a member of the Infection Control Today® (ICT®) Editorial Advisory Board, and she explained her presentation for ICT.

ICT: Can you please summarize your presentation?

Hebah Al Zamel, MSN, BSN, CPHQ, CIC: Patient safety is a health care discipline that aims to prevent and reduce risks, errors, and harm to patients while providing health care. It emerged due to the evolving complexity in health care systems and the resulting rise of patient harm in health care facilities. Patient safety is a framework of organized activities that creates cultures, processes, procedures, behaviors, technologies, and environments in health care that consistently and sustainably lower risks, reduce the occurrence of avoidable harm, make error less likely, and reduce its impact when it does occur. Clear policies, organizational leadership capacity, data to drive safety improvements, skilled health care professionals, and effective involvement of patients and families in the care process are all needed to ensure sustainable and significant improvements in the safety of health care.

Patients may contract health care–associated infections (HAIs) while receiving treatment for another condition. These infections can occur in various health care facilities, including hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, end-stage renal disease facilities, and long-term care facilities. HAIs may result from different pathogens, such as bacteria, fungi, and viruses.1 They can cause severe illness or death. It is alarming to know that almost half of all adverse medical events are preventable. In low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), 134 million such events occur in hospitals annually, leading to 2.6 million deaths. Shockingly, as many as 4 out of 10 patients suffer harm in primary and outpatient healthcare globally, with up to 80% of this harm being avoidable. The most serious mistakes are linked to diagnosis, medication prescription, and usage.2

ICT: What are some of the other topics covered at this year’s conference?

HAZ: The significance of this conference is that it aims to promote international collaboration in clinical and research practice and to provide a platform for experts from around the world to discuss various sessions on connecting, interacting, and transforming innovations in nursing and health care management and patient safety. The conference also offers opportunities for professional networking and continuing medical education and continuing professional development. The conference covers a wide range of topics related to nursing, health care, and patient safety, such as nursing in health care, nursing and health sciences, health care simulation, home care nursing services, advanced health care, types of nursing in health care, public health nursing, health care leadership, health care management, hospital management, internal medicine, psychiatry and mental health, health care quality, family medicine, nurse protection during pandemics, women’s health, infection control, health care quality improvement, telehealth care, digital health care, and health care services. The conference also showcases the creativity and ingenuity of nurses leading change or driving health care transformation. The conference is an excellent opportunity to learn from the experts, share ideas, and work with others.


  1. 2022 report to our communities by Huntsville Hospital Health System. Iissuu. Accessed September 1, 2023.
  2. Patient safety. WHO. Accessed September 1, 2023.
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