The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:
Over 800 healthcare professionals from the Kowloon Central Cluster (KCC) participated in the Patient Safety Convention 2009 on November 27V28,2009. The convention, themed Total Engagement in Patient Safety, provided a major platform for risk knowledge and experience exchange among renowned international and local experts of non-healthcare professions whose inspiring presentations and interactive deliberations in patient safety, risk communication and patient engagement contributed to the cluster¦s path towards quality service and total engagement in patient safety.
The KCC Patient Safety Convention 2009 was officially opened by Professor Gabriel Leung, Under Secretary for Food and Health, this morning (November 27) at the Chinese University of Hong Kong -Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Community College.Accompanying the Under Secretary at the opening ceremony were Mr Anthony Wu, the Hospital Authority (HA) Chairman, Dr Hung Chi-tim, the KCC Chief Executive, and Dr C K Lin, Chairman, Organising Committee of the Patient Safety Convention.
The event began with Dr Lin introducing the convention as one of the major programmes of the Years of Safety project.He said that optimal patient safety was achievable only if there was full patient participation and the cluster was determined to ensure the implementation of the safest possible practices at all times.
Mr Wu said that patient safety had always been a top priority of the HA and the most fundamental responsibility of healthcare professionals. He added that a paradigm shift had taken place since 2007 with the launch of a Sentinel Event Policy to further strengthen the reporting, management and monitoring of adverse medical incidents.
He also highlighted the HAs new service culture on Helping People Stay Healthy. Together with an enhanced risk prevention mechanism and a one-stop patient information website, it forms the foundation of the HAs total engagement in patient service, underpinning patient safety and empowerment.
In his opening speech, Professor Leung said that the public had increasingly demanded greater transparency and accountability from clinicians, managers and policymakers alike.Yet, mishaps and adverse incidents did happen… Key to addressing this is robust risk management.He said that mitigating risks required a systematic approach as well as training and sharing among all levels of staff. Preventing errors and improving patient safety require a 360 degree systems approach, he said.
Professor Leung also shed light on fostering a safety culture that encouraged clinicians, patients, manager and policymakers to be vigilant in identifying risks and speaking up on potential or actual errors, taking preventive steps, disclosing appropriate information on errors, and sharing among staff to prevent the recurrence of incidents. Additional to strong leadership, setting clear objectives, and close monitoring, it was important to evaluate current approaches for reducing errors and building new systems to minimise potential hazards, he said. He assured patients that the authority would continue to do its best in improving public health.
In delivering his keynote address, Dr Hung shared his views on patient safety and guided the audience through how cognitive and other biases together with the factors of machines, environment, system and resources could contribute to error.He said that a paradigm change was basically built upon safety with a system redesigned to reduce risks and errors. With practical experiences in KCC, he presented the achievements of the fleet focusing on improvement strategies in positive culture building, as well as various systemic and environmental enhancements.
Dr Hung advocated engaging patients in a patient safety movement and suggested that personal time out, standardised practices, regular systematic review and design for safety and simplicity could be useful tools to enhance patient safety and clinical quality.He related a moving story about a mother on a crusading journey for patient safety. In the same spirit, he asserted the commitment of the cluster towards excellence through continuous improvement on the basis of patient and staff safety.
Years of Safety is a three-year programme initiated by the KCC in 2008 with a specific theme for each year, namely patient safety, staff safety and quality service to promote safety culture among staff members. It aims at enhancing risk management and safety awareness with the ultimate goal of creating a safe and harmonious healthcare environment through staff interaction, advocating case reporting, proactive discussion on risk issues as well as information sharing.