Patient safety

World Healthcare Students' Symposium

26 Nov - 1 Dec 2007
Albufeira, Portugal

The WHSS was a multi-professional five day conference bringing together healthcare students from all over the world. 600 nursing, medical, pharmacist and health technology students met in Albufeira, Portugal to discuss, debate and learn about a wide range of healthcare issues, including patient safety.

The WHO World Alliance for Patient Safety supported the event and Margaret Murphy, Patients for Patient Safety Champion, delivered a presentation centered on patient safety, the work of the Alliance and the critical role patients have to play in advocating for safe care. Margaret shared her personal experience of the death of her son Kevin and the learning from his unsafe care, and the way in which she is able to use this as a teaching resource both in her own country Ireland and globally.

A key focus of the conference was a range of workshops, one of which was delivered by the Alliance. This workshop, entitled "Learning from Error", was part of a trial of the Alliance's new education resource for healthcare professionals, looking at the root causes of an adverse event and how these can be prevented by e.g. better teamwork, more effective communication between the professional groups and by actively engaging the patient in their own care.

Over 60 students benefitted from this workshop, held on the afternoon of 29 November.