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Patient safety in medical humanitarian action : medical error prevention and management

Abstract : Patient safety is recognized for some 20 years as one of the essential elements of healthcare quality and has become an integral part of healthcare systems. It encompasses regulations, tools and strategies that affect all sectors of medicine. Today, research and implementation in the area of patient safety pertain above all to healthcare systems in the most developed countries whereas two thirds of estimated safety incidents occur in low- or mid-income countries.An exploratory phase aiming at developing the research strategy confirmed that patient safety, per se, and the detection and management of medical errors have not yet been translated into the humanitarian assistance sector in a structured and adapted way. In order to understand the reasons for this gap this thesis aims to understand what the current status and perspectives of patient safety in medical humanitarian action are. An initial phase explored developments in the knowledge of safety and risk management and the current state of knowledge and the main developments in patient safety and especially medical error management were explored. Follows an analysis of the characteristics of medical action as carried out by medical humanitarian organisations.The second part of the thesis is centred on semi-directive discussions with medical and paramedical personnel active within six medical humanitarian organisations to understand the knowledge, attitudes and practises with regards to patient safety and medical error management. 39 interviews were done with international medical and paramedical staff with minimum 2 years of experience in the humanitarian sector. It appears clearly that, while there may not yet be a structured approach in the sector regarding patient safety and, specifically, medical error management, this clearly corresponds to an expectation on the part of the humanitarian personnel interviewed.This research, to our knowledge the first of its kind, demonstrates the eagerness of the medical and paramedical staff engaged in humanitarian action to commit to an internal cultural revolution towards a safer healthcare provision, even in precarious situations. Catching up the delays in adopting adapted patient safety and medical error management policies would reinforce the accountability to the vulnerable populations assisted by these organisations and save more lives, the essence of humanitarian purpose
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Submitted on : Tuesday, June 30, 2020 - 12:06:27 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, October 20, 2020 - 11:32:59 AM


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  • HAL Id : tel-02884986, version 1



Jean-Marc Biquet. Patient safety in medical humanitarian action : medical error prevention and management. Santé publique et épidémiologie. Université de Lyon; Université de Genève, 2020. English. ⟨NNT : 2020LYSE1038⟩. ⟨tel-02884986⟩



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