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Patient Safety and Risk Management in the United Kingdom, Denmark, & France

  • August 2013
  • -
  • Frost & Sullivan
  • -
  • 62 pages


Table of Contents

Addressing Needs through Healthcare Information Technology

This market insight is an attempt to analyse the market dynamics and trends in patient safety, and the use of healthcare IT solutions as an enabler for patient safety enhancement. The study covers in detail the patient safety scenario in Europe, EU commission's activity in area of patient safety, and specific details centring on UK, Denmark, and France. This includes drivers and restraints affecting the patient safety solutions market, a snapshot of various healthcare IT solutions for boosting patient safety in areas of infection control, medication management, incidence reporting, and several other application areas, as well as information on key industry participants.


•The objective of this research service is to present an analysis of patient safety trends in select European countries with respect to initiatives and healthcare information technology.
•The regional scope of this research is UK, Denmark, and France.

Frost & Sullivan follows a three-step methodology to develop the analysis represented in this research service

Internal Expertise: Frost & Sullivan uses the expertise of the global research staff supported by the internal databases to develop insights into the patient safety market.
Secondary Research:Secondary research is utilised to develop a baseline understanding of the role of healthcare information technology in patient safety as well as to identify key stakeholders for the primary research phase.
Primary Research: Approximately X% to X% of the data provided in the primary research is focused on obtaining targeted information from key market participants by means of telephone interviews.

The information collected by the above methods was analysed and aggregated to produce this research service.

Key Findings

•The focus on patient safety is a top priority in healthcare systems across the world, and Europe is a leader in adopting initiatives and standards to make its healthcare system safe for patients.
•The early 2000s witnessed the member states in the European Union (EU) recognising patient safety as a key area of focus, especially as about X– % of the patients in the healthcare environment were subjected to patient safety issues such as medication errors, healthcare-associated infections, and adverse drug events.
•The member states in EU have identified policies and frameworks for patient safety with X directives mandated for a patient safe healthcare environment. About X member states have implemented X– recommendations given by EU council as of 2012, and this includes the UK, Denmark, and France, where all the recommendations are expected to be completely executed by 2015.
•The UK, Denmark and France have a wide range of patient safety initiatives including national and regional reporting and learning systems for recording patient history, medication, and have also established patient safety and healthcare quality standards on administration of drugs and medical devices.
•A majority of EU member states are mostly focused on patient safety in hospitals, with very less emphasis on extending the safety culture to primary and generalist care. Similarly, there is less involvement of patients in reporting the patient safety incidents currently.
•However, Denmark, a leader in incidence reporting and learning systems, has initiated efforts to include primary care in all the patient safety initiatives and is also encouraging patient involvement in reporting events from 2011. This trend is expected to reflect in healthcare systems across Europe.
•The UK has well-established reporting and learning systems for recording incidences of patient safety issues, and healthcare organisations in this region have patient safety IT solutions for managing medication errors, prescription errors, and infection control.
•France has been traditionally focusing on patient safety issues on products such as drugs and medical devices. However, it is currently expanding its focus to include regional and national reporting systems to report patient safety issues and is introducing several initiatives in the field of surveillance, incidence reporting, and others.
•Healthcare IT market in Europe has few market participants with a portfolio of software solutions, singularly aimed at tackling the issue of patient safety. The portfolio includes surveillance software, medication management software, and e-prescribing solutions.
•Furthermore, the healthcare IT market has participants with patient safety aspect tailored into their clinical solutions such as hospital information systems (HIS) and electronic health records (EHR).
•High growth in demand for IT solutions for enhancing patient safety is expected in the coming X–X years due to increase in adoption of patient-centric care model.

Introduction to Patient Safety

•Patient safety refers to the utilisation of technology and methodologies to report, analyse, and prevent the occurrence of medical errors that could come in the way of well-being of the patient.
•Patient safety can be compromised by the impact of an untoward medical occurrence, a medical or surgical discrepancy on the part of clinician or hospital staff, healthcare-associated infections or medical equipment failure leading to adverse events.
•Poor regulatory standards, untrained or over-utilised and exhausted hospital staff, usage of obsolete technology and less awareness among the patient population are reasons for occurrence of patient safety issues.
•According to the World Health Organization (WHO), about X% of the patient population across the globe are affected by the implications of safety lapses in a healthcare setting. Though patient safety is a relatively new area of emphasis in healthcare, the awareness about the necessity to reduce the occurrence of safety lapses has been gaining momentum over past few years.
•Governments across the globe and WHO has been spearheading patient safety campaigns and several healthcare information technology (IT) companies are taking the lead to come up with innovative IT solutions to ensure patient safety.
•Europe has been in the forefront of acknowledging the need for patient safety in healthcare, followed closely by North America. Emerging markets in Asia Pacific and Latin America are waking to the concept of patient safety as a major concern area.
•Patient safety is slated to be an area of high interest to healthcare IT companies, as it throws open a new opportunity wherein early adopters will have the first mover advantage.

Impact of Patient Safety Issues in Europe

•The European Union has acknowledged patient safety as a high priority concern and has enacted different initiatives to improve patient well-being in the hospital environment.
•About X% of the adverse events reported in EU healthcare scenario are of preventable nature, as XX% of these events stem from medical and surgical errors.
•WHO estimates that HAIs cost the EU about £Xbillion per year, the most common being urinary tract infection with about X% prevalence, followed by respiratory infections affecting X% of patients. This is followed by surgical infections accounting for X%, and bloodstream infections accounting for about X% of the HAIs.
•Effective implementation of patient safety ensuring electronic systems, vigilance in healthcare practice, and active involvement of both hospital staff and patients can considerably— reduce the number of adverse events, result in fewer days of hospitalisation, shrink the need for hospital readmissions, and lower the mortality rate in healthcare environment.

European Commission and Patient Safety

•European Commission was always in the forefront of initiatives and policy frameworks to elevate the standard of its healthcare sector. However, until early 2000s, none of these policies had focused on aspects of patient safety.
•In early 2000s, European Commission made its foray into patient safety and by 2008, the 27 member states had policies and frameworks acknowledging patient safety as a key area of focus.
•European Commission’s initial foray into patient safety is marked by the choice of patient safety as the key theme for improving healthcare by the Luxembourg and UK Presidencies of the Council of the EU.
•This was followed by EU network for patient safety (EUNetPaS) in 2008 which was a one month programme involving all the member states headed by Haute Autorité de Santé of France.
•Under this program, EU has recognised a series of steps to be implemented to reduce the impact of the patient safety issues as follows.
- Putting into practice response mechanisms and solutions banks across all the EU member states
- Implementation of learning and reporting systems
- Encouragement of a patient safety culture in healthcare by setting up procedures and including it as an important aspect in healthcare planning
- Inclusion of patient safety in the education curricula for medical professionals
- Pilot testing to be performed for the medical safety solutions.

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