Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety promotes global collaboration to improve healthcare

Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety promotes global collaboration to improve healthcare
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The fourth annual Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety concluded in Jeddah on Sunday, with the Saudi Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah announcing the Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety. (Photo: Supplied)
Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety promotes global collaboration to improve healthcare
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The fourth annual Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety concluded in Jeddah on Sunday, with the Saudi Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah announcing the Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety. (Photo: Supplied)
Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety promotes global collaboration to improve healthcare
3 / 5
The fourth annual Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety concluded in Jeddah on Sunday, with the Saudi Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah announcing the Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety. (Photo: Supplied)
Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety promotes global collaboration to improve healthcare
4 / 5
The fourth annual Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety concluded in Jeddah on Sunday, with the Saudi Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah announcing the Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety. (SPA)
Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety promotes global collaboration to improve healthcare
5 / 5
The fourth annual Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety concluded in Jeddah on Sunday, with the Saudi Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah announcing the Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety. (SPA)
Updated 03 March 2019

Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety promotes global collaboration to improve healthcare

Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety promotes global collaboration to improve healthcare
  • Saudi Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah said that the declaration “signals a strong global commitment to shape truly safer systems for generations to come”
  • Participants at the summit also agreed to invest in workforce education as a driver for patient safety

JEDDAH: The fourth annual Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety concluded at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Jeddah on Sunday, with the Saudi Minister of Health Dr. Tawfiq Al-Rabiah announcing the Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety.
After pointing out that, since 2015, Saudi Arabia has spent more than $675 million on health, water, sanitation and nutrition projects in different countries, Al-Rabiah claimed that, worldwide, someone dies every 13 seconds due to medical errors.
“Patient safety in healthcare has been, and is still, a serious global concern,” Al-Rabiah said. “Although patient safety has been at the forefront of public health policy makers’ priorities since the turn of the century, still more international focus, research and debate are needed to improve patient safety.”
The Saudi minister pointed out that the Jeddah Declaration on Patient Safety sets recommendations for international standards, guidelines and actions that aim to address patient-safety issues of global significance, with a strong emphasis on Low- and Middle-Income Countries (LMIC), and aims to establish patient safety as “a crucial principle integrated into efforts to achieve universal health coverage.”
He added that the declaration “signals a strong global commitment to shape truly safer systems for generations to come.”
To highlight the importance of previous recommendations and to work on maintaining the momentum of the global patient-safety movement, especially within low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), the Jeddah Declaration for Patient Safety 2019 endorses the points established by the Tokyo Declaration on Patient Safety presented at the Third Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety in 2018.
All parties to the declaration indicated their intention to promote patient safety in LMICs. Al-Rabiah said that, according to the World Health Organization, each year, “unsafe care” in LMICs results in 134 million adverse events, contributing to 2.6 million deaths annually. As part of its contribution to pressing global health requirements, Saudi Arabia has committed to a patient-safety outreach initiative and to working on setting patient-safety research priorities with special emphasis on LMICs.
Al-Rabiah explained that the declaration also lays out plans to utilize digital health technology to support patient safety across the globe, adding that Saudi Arabia is proposing the launch of a virtual platform to assist collaboration between healthcare professionals from high-income countries and LMICs. All parties also agreed to promote “patient empowerment and community engagement for patient safety,” a move to encourage countries to adopt practical empowerment strategies for patients and families.

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Key decisions from the Jeddah Declaration

 1. To adapt best practices in patient safety to fit local contexts.

 2. To include patient safety in all healthcare curricula.

 3. To develop standardized terminology for patient safety.

 4. To develop a robust regulatory process that ensures safe use of digital health technology.
5. To develop national patient-safety strategies in consultation with communities and healthcare professionals.

6. To promote health literacy for effective decision-making.  

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“Such strategies would highlight the principles of co-production, for example, through strengthening health literacy and endorsing, implementing and reinforcing patient-centered root cause analysis (RCA),” he added.
In order to improve understanding of the magnitude of adverse events (AEs) and to promote better international classification of diseases (ICD), participants agreed to consider the creation an international classification of adverse events. They also agreed to implement national reporting and learning systems for patient safety, which will promote the universal standardization of terminology for adverse events.
Participants at the summit also agreed to invest in workforce education as a driver for patient safety, concluding that industries including aviation, nuclear power, oil, gas and aerospace provided best-practice examples of this. The Saudi Patient Safety Center will launch a collaborative project with experts from different industries to work on “win-win collaborations for collective safety improvement,” Al-Rabiah said.
Other important decisions made by participants were to promote medication safety in community pharmacies, and to encourage countries to adopt human-factor engineering (HFE) strategies to introduce resilience and minimize adverse events related to medical devices.
The declaration also includes plans to enforce infection prevention control (IPC) and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) strategies for patient safety, particularly policies that prohibit access to antibiotics without prescription in LMICs.
Al-Rabiah concluded his speech by pointing out that patient safety has moved from an evidence gap 20 years ago to an implementation gap now. To transform patient safety over the next 20 years, he said, it is imperative that healthcare systems focus on implementation strategies to reduce the so-called ‘second translational gap,’ and make use of the expansive evidence base on patient safety.