World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Patient Safety Seeks Comment on Proposed New International Patient Safety Solutions

OAKBROOK TERRACE, Ill. -- The WHO Collaborating Centre for Patient Safety and the WHO World Alliance for Patient Safety today invited health ministries, healthcare provider organizations, healthcare professionals, patient safety advocates, consumers and other interested parties to comment on five proposed, potentially life-saving Patient Safety Solutions that have been selected as priorities by the Collaborating Centres International Steering Committee. The Collaborating Centre, jointly sponsored by The Joint Commission and Joint Commission International, develops selected Patient Safety Solutions in coordination with the WHO World Alliance for Patient Safety. This activity represents the Solutions program of the WHO World Alliance for Patient Safety, which translates knowledge about patient safety interventions into practical solutions for use by the global community.  The electronic Patient Safety Solutions survey will be available online until Feb. 29, 2008 at

This new set of Patient Safety Solutions addresses the following challenges:

· Prevention of patient falls

· Prevention of pressure ulcers

· Response to the deteriorating patient

· Communication of critical test results

·  Prevention of bloodstream infections associated with central lines.

The intent of these solutions and others that have been issued previously is to guide the re-design of patient care processes to prevent inevitable human errors from actually reaching patients.

The proposed Patient Safety Solutions have already been reviewed by the International Steering Committee and Regional Advisory Councils in Europe and the Asia-Pacific region and the WHO Alliance. Their comments have already been integrated into the proposed solutions. The Middle East Advisory Council will meet early in 2008, and its comments will be included with the input received from the overall international field review. This Internet-based survey is one of the most critical stages in the Solutions development process. 

The Collaborating Centre is specifically interested in comments regarding the content and feasibility of these Solutions and would particularly value input from those who have actually experienced adverse healthcare events that relate to the proposed solutions. The field survey also asks about barriers to using the solutions and how the solutions might be adapted to accommodate cultural realities in different regions of the world. After the feedback from the field review has been incorporated into the solutions, they will again be reviewed and then acted upon by the International Steering Committee in the spring of 2008. 

A differentiating and very positive aspect of the work of the Collaborating Centre has been the collaborative nature of the work and the fact that the Solutions are reviewed by various professionals and patients throughout the world to better understand their feasibility and applicability, says Karen H. Timmons, president and chief executive officer, Joint Commission Resources, Inc. and Joint Commission International., Inc.


The first set of Patient Safety Solutions was launched earlier this year.  These solutions addressed the issues of look-alike, sound-alike medications; correct patient identification; hand-over communications; wrong-site, wrong-patient surgery; use of concentrated electrolyte solutions; medication reconciliation; catheter and tubing misconnections; needle reuse and injection safety; and hand hygiene.

Questions about the field survey can be addressed to Gerry Castro, project director, Joint Commission International Center for Patient Safety at  For more information about the Patient Safety Solutions project, access

Source: The Joint Commission