Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology: Putting Words Into Practice - Experience in Germany
Van Aken, Hugo
Best practice & research. Clinical anaesthesiology 2011 Jun; 25(2): 291-304
For years now, the German Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care Medicine and the Professional Association of German Anaesthesiologists have been actively involved in efforts to improve patient safety. To this end, a whole range of activities have been initiated in recent years and, since February 2011, collected together on our home page 'PATSI' (www.patientensicherheit-ains.de). Further, the implementation of syringe labelling (ISO 26825) with additional information on drugs frequently used in intensive care was carried out. Under the item Helsinki Declaration, all decisions and recommendations so far worked out by our speciality have, in structured form, been assigned to individual points and saved as PDF files. This has made it possible for every anaesthesiological department in Germany to integrate all the relevant instructions and conditions of the Helsinki Declaration into their own individual work structures. These systematic solutions represent a major contribution towards reducing the possibility of errors at the workplace. We are certainly still in the early stages of our efforts to achieve a nationwide integration of a cultural change in the way we deal with mistakes in medicine. We have incorporated the item 'learning from mistakes' in our project 'critical incident reporting system for anaesthesia, intensive care medicine, emergency care, and pain therapy, CIRS-AINS', and have brought out a range of relevant illustrative publications. Accepting these 'mistakes' as an opportunity to critically examine ourselves and our work with a view to learning from them and further improving our speciality service is, we believe, a great challenge for future developments in anaesthesia.
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