5th International Conference on Patient Safety

The 5th International Conference on Patient Safety was held in Madrid  (Spain) on June 3-4, 2010. The main objective was to share international and national experiences in preventing healthcare-associated infection (HAI) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR).

The speakers included a major representation of international organizations and representatives from European Union countries. On the part of the WHO, the Regional Director for Europe, Zusuzanna Jakab, gave the keynote address, setting out an overview of Europe’s current HAI and AMR-related status, the efforts which have been made to create monitoring networks and their interest in Europe taking leadership upon itself in this area. As proof of the importance the WHO places on this matter, she announced that the upcoming 2011 World Health Day will be devoted to antimicrobial resistance. 

A major part of the conference was focused on antimicrobial resistance.

At the first round-table, the speakers set out different monitoring, surveillance and prevention strategies on the part of the European Antimicrobial Resistance Surveillance System (EARSS), the ECDC and the CDC, having stressed that combating antimicrobial resistance must be considered a national priority in health policies.

At the second round-table, experts from the last European trio presidency (France, Sweden and Chez Republic) and the present trio (Spain, Belgium and Hungary)  detailed their respective national AMR-prevention experiences, the current situation having been revealed to vary greatly from one country to another, and those countries who have gotten a sustained strategy under way to now be achieving positive results.

 Following an introductory lecture by Benedetta Allegranzi, the last round-table of the day was devoted to the outcomes of the Spanish National Hand Hygiene Program, several Autonomous Community experiences in implementing and evaluating this program having been discussed.

The topics dealt with on the second day of the conference were more widely varied. Itziar Larizgoitia introduced the pilot project being carried out in Spain in collaboration with the WHO for implementing a nationwide strategy for reducing central venous catheter-related bacteremia: Bacteremia zero project. Her speech was followed by a round-table discussion setting out the preliminary results of this project by the Spanish leader and other initiatives aimed at preventing HAIs and AMR within different local and Autonomous Community scopes.

The last half of the morning was focused on the role of patients and citizens in these safety-related aspects.

The EMEA representative introduced the participation model for the patients associations in their organization. This presentation was followed by a round-table in which the Director of the European Patients Forum took part by presenting her organization’s initiatives in patient safety. The rest of the presentations were made by members for the National Health System’s citizen trainers in patient safety network.

The Conference ended with the presentation of different European-level patient safety-related research projects: EUNetPaS, MARQUIS and LINNEAUS.