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Patient safety in emergency medicine: report on 4 years implementation of a program designed for the Spanish Society of Emergency Medicine (SEMES)

Tomás Vecina S, Chánovas Borrás M, Roqueta F, Toranzo Cepeda T

Coordinadores Programa SEMES-Seguridad Paciente, Spain. Servicio de Urgencias, Hospital Municipal de Badalona, Barcelona, Spain. Hospital Verge de la Cinta-Tortosa, IISPV, Tarragona, Spain. Servicio de Urgencias, Fundació Althaia, Manresa, Barcelona, Spain. Servicio de Urgencias, Hospital Virgen de la Concha, Zamora, Spain.

Emergency departments (ED) and Emergency Medical Systems (EMS) are areas where
there is high risk of adverse events and incidents that affect patient safety. In 2008 the
Spanish Society of Emergency Medicine (SEMES) initiated a program to promote a patient
safety culture in ED and EMS. The program included training in patient safety, the analysis
of incidents with and without patient harm, and the development of proactive tools to
detect risk during emergency interventions. Outcomes of this program include the
establishment of a network of 176 instructors in emergency patient safety and the EVADUR
and CULTURA studies to determine the types of incidents and adverse events in our ED and
EMS, their causes and preventability, and the level of safety and safety culture within
organizations. The results make it possible to draw an emergency service risk map. After 4
years the program has provided information on patient safety in Spanish ED and EMS and
allows us to develop guidelines for devising risk reduction strategies for this setting.

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