Patient safety


Why technology?

Technology presents a number of untapped opportunities for patient safety, as well as representing a potential hazard. It is a common thread shared across many areas of WHO Patient Safety's work, where it is hoped common lessons may be shared.

For these reasons technology has been at the heart of WHO Patient Safety from an early stage, being one of the original work streams and part of the Forward Programme for 2006-2007, as well as 2008-2009. This project is part funded by a contribution from the Japanese Government.

WHO Patient Safety and its stakeholders have undertaken a scoping exercise to identify and clarify the role and objectives of technology in improving patient safety both in the developed and developing world, and future directions (research, education, implementation) regarding technology for patient safety.

Work streams

Four work streams were considered:

  • Information technology for patient safety
  • Making technology safer
  • Introducing new technology safely
  • Training and simulation technology

Next steps

The groups meet at Imperial College, London, in May 2009 to present, review and discuss these reports. A summary of the meeting is available by clicking on the link below. A series of project recommendations were made by the four working streams.

WHO Patient Safety is currently meeting with stakeholders and considering the next steps for the Technology Programme. The full reports are due to be published as academic papers in a peer-reviewed journal in April 2010.