Newsletter October 2021: Patient Safety, at the heart of ESAIC

Daniel Arnal 
Chair ESAIC Patient safety and Quality Committee


The vision of the European Society of Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care (ESAIC) and its Patient Safety and Quality Committee is to promote quality of care and patient safety through the strategic implementation of the Helsinki Declaration for Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology (HD) followed up with high-quality training and education, endorsed by a robust system of examination and certification.

The work of the ESAIC Patient Safety and Quality Committee is to strive to be a dynamic international leader in Patient Safety and Quality for anaesthesiology, perioperative medicine, intensive care medicine, critical emergency medicine and pain medicine. It has been working hard behind the scenes to create a broad profile in patient safety using a strategy that includes research, implementation and education.

This past September 17th, the ESAIC celebrated and supported the WHO World Patient Safety Day with a series of presentations about “Safe maternal and newborn care”. Added to this, we would like to take this opportunity to celebrate all our Patient Safety activities.


Research: HD Follow-Up Project

In 2018 the ESAIC launched the HD Follow-Up Project (HD-FU), a research project to evaluate the adoption of the HD in Europe, to identify variations and barriers in the implementation process, and to develop implementation through the use of multi-method approaches. The project was directed and coordinated by the ESAIC PSQC and the Lancaster Patient Safety Research Institute, supervised by the ESAIC Board, and advanced by a multidisciplinary project team.

At the end of the project the executive report made a number of recommendations for education, research, policy and practice. Future work should:

  • Create and maintain structures for safety education both in training curricula and for established specialist anaesthesiologists.
  • Promote a ‘no blame’ culture to encourage the reporting and open discussion of threats to patient safety.
  • Greater involvement of patients in the promotion of safe practice.
  • Establish and maintain regional networks within Europe to share practice and solutions appropriate to available resources.


Implementation: PRiPSAIC

The ESAIC will also take the Helsinki Declaration Follow Up Project (HD-FU) a step further through PRiPSAIC, Peer Review in Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology and Intensive Care. We will now move from investigation to action.

PRiPSAIC will create networks of anaesthesiologists and critical care physicians and give them the tools and support they need to examine their own practice and those of their peers and provide intelligence to design solutions for future safer care.  We will work with industry partners, national societies of anaesthesiology and intensive care to find and network ‘change champions’ and ambassadors for patient safety in hospitals in selected European countries. We will support them to learn from each other as they map and develop their current practice and develop new ways of working for the future.

PRiPSAIC will begin in late 2021.


Education: Safer Care to Save Lives

The ESAIC has designed a tiered education training program aimed to be available and affordable for all anaesthesiologists, intensivists, linked health care professionals in Europe. The Safer Care to Save Lives programme will help to implement a modern patient safety culture throughout the continent.

The vision for this new ambitious programme is for every acute setting health care provider in Europe to receive and be certified in an ESAIC patient safety training as part of their continuous education program.

The Safer Care to Save Lives programme will provide key knowledge on patient safety in the acute settings: intensive care, anaesthesiology and perioperative care and emergency settings.

It is built on the overarching principles of the Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology (HD) and the WHO Multi-professional Patient Safety Curriculum as outlined in its Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021 – 2030.

This will be implemented through a stepwise, blended educational approach, including both online on demand and live (either online or face-to-face) education. The strategy includes eLearning modules, an international, multi-language qualification course, simulation training in crisis resource management using cases outlined in the Helsinki Declaration and our successful Patient Safety and Quality Masterclass and the Online Anaesthesia and Intensive Care Crisis Simulation Masterclass. These elements will provide resources for all levels of experience in Patient Safety.

This project will complement our existing PS education, including the annual International Forum on Perioperative Safety and Quality.

Safer Care to Save Lives is now in the developmental stage and will aim to be released in early 2023.


Industry Partners in Patient Safety

Our industry partners have a vital role. They can contribute to solutions and work with healthcare professionals. They will be involved in expert discussions, and support education through unrestricted educational grants.

We are happy to announce the partnership with the following companies:

HD-FU Project:  Fresenius Kabi, Masimo, Nihon Kohden, Philips Healthcare

PRiPSAIC: Masimo, Philips Healthcare

Safer Care to Save Lives: Edwards Lifesciences, Getinge, Medtronic, Mindray, Philips Healthcare

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