New center seeks to boost patient safety

Health Minister Ahmad Al-Khateeb

Health Minister Ahmad Al-Khateeb

Health Minister Ahmad Al-Khateeb on Wednesday ordered the establishment of the National Center for Patient Safety (NCPS) which will directly report to the minister, according to an announcement by the ministry.

The center will be set under the umbrella of the Council of Health Services, headed by the minister, and will act as the supervisory body for all affairs related to the safety of patients at health care facilities.

The ministry said that the center will work on creating and enhancing a culture of patient safety at health care facilities, conducting research on problems associated with patients that affect their safety and lives, and making the practice of patient safety regular ongoing behavior at health care facilities.

“All these objectives will be achieved through various types of plans of varying durations,” the ministry said in a statement.

The center will employ a system to categorize and analyze medical errors that affect patients, and adapt standards and indicators based on evidence to fight these errors, not only for minimizing them, but, if possible, to eradicate them from the practice of health care.

In order for the center to fulfill its mission, it will cooperate with the Saudi Central Board of Accreditation for Healthcare Institutions (CBAHI), quality management departments at health care service providers in government health sectors, the Saudi Food and Drug Authority (SFDA), and the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCFHS), along with similar regional and international organizations, in particular the World Health Organization.

The minister has also ordered the formation of a high-level committee headed by Tawfeeq Ahmad Khoja, director general of executive office of the health ministers for Gulf Arab countries. The committee will include prominent Saudi and international health experts, and is tasked with setting the overall structure, vision and mission of the center.

The ministry said the establishment of the center comes as part of the overall move to improve the standard and quality of health care services provided by the ministry and other governmental agencies.


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