Patient safety

A taxonomy for Patient Safety

Aim of the project

A standardized classification for key patient safety concepts was considered a solution to share learning across health-care systems and to define, harmonize and group patient safety concepts in a way that might conduce to learning and improving patient safety across time and borders.

With the support of international experts, WHO Patient Safety developed a conceptual framework as the basis for further developments, including the International Classification for Patient Safety. The Conceptual Framework provides a reasonable understanding of the world of patient safety to which existing regional and national classifications can relate.

It should be noted that the conceptual framework for the ICPS is not a classification. Instead it describes a comprehensive Information Model for understanding the epistemology of patient safety incidents.

From the Conceptual Framework to the Minimal Information Model for Reporting Patient Safety Incidents

Building on vast experience in several countries reporting and classifying incidents, a conceptual framework has been elicited for understanding the patient safety domain and learning. WHO is now working to advance practical developments based on this Conceptual Framework, such as the Minimal Information Model for Reporting of Patient Safety Incidents.