You can use your existing Medical Independent, MediLearning or PharmacistCPD account to log in. is Ireland's only investigative medical news website for doctors, healthcare professionals and anyone with an interest in health issues.

Established in 2010, along with its sister publication The Medical Independent, our stated aim is to investigate and analyse the major issues affecting healthcare and the medical profession in Ireland. The Medical Independent has won a number of awards for its investigative journalism, and its stories are frequently picked up by national digital, broadcast and print media. The Medical Independent is published by GreenCross Publishing.

Address: Top Floor, 111 Rathmines Road Lr, Dublin 6

Tel: 353 (01) 441 0024

GreenCross Publishing is owned by Graham Cooke.

The benefits of registering: only registered users:
  • receive the ecCopy two days prior to the printed edition.
  • have automatic access to our free CPD sites.
  • can partake in our online MCQs.
  • can enter our online sports quiz.

Sign up now for ease of access to The Medical Independent, Ireland’s most frequently published medical newspaper, delivering award-winning news and investigative reporting.

Download the new Mindo app for both IOS & Android.

  • Get notified when a story goes live
  • Access Premium Content
  • Read Offline
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public"]

You are reading 1 of 2 free-access articles allowed for 30 days

HIQA highlights need for improved patient safety surveillance

By Dermot - 25th Jan 2016 | 4 views

The recommendations are published in conjunction with two supporting documents, <em>the “As-is” analysis of patient safety intelligence systems and structures in Ireland</em> and also with the <em>International review of patient safety surveillance systems.</em>

HIQA says services must share and act on information about patient safety incidents, and learn lessons to prevent similar incidents happening again. 

The HIQA recommendations include the proposal for a new model for coordinating patient safety intelligence in Ireland and the implementation and rollout of the national incident management system. HIQA recommends the need to embed a ‘just culture’ within services to ensure timely review of incident information and place an emphasis at a local and national level to learn from such incidents.

Dr Kevin O’Carroll, Acting Director of Health Information with HIQA, commented: “Safe and reliable health and social care depends on access to, and use of, good quality information. The 10 recommendations published today by HIQA include assigning responsibility and accountability for national patient safety intelligence to an independent organisation in order to ensure effective national oversight of patient safety and also to inform policy development. Introducing these recommendations would enable risk profiling of services and greatly improve patient safety. 

 “There is currently no single agency in Ireland with responsibility for the governance and coordination of patient safety intelligence and for sharing learning between the numerous agencies which collect patient safety intelligence. The diffusion of this information is a lost opportunity to provide early warnings of potential patient safety risks.”

HIQA has also reported a need for an effective ICT infrastructure to assist the coordination of patient safety intelligence combined with effective governance arrangements for sharing learning from patient safety incidents locally and nationally.  Implementing a national incident management system across the health and social care system, new legislation to support incident reporting, and improving data quality and use of incident information are also required.

HIQA’s recommendations follow public concern about the safety of Irish maternity services and were informed by a comprehensive review of patient safety intelligence systems in operation in other countries and a review of how patient safety intelligence is currently gathered and used in the Irish health service. In addition, key stakeholders from across the health and social care sector in Ireland also considered the options for patient safety surveillance in Ireland and helped to shape the HIQA recommendations.

Dr O’Carroll continued: “To inform our recommendations, we carried out an in-depth international review of patient-safety surveillance systems in health systems in four countries, namely Canada (in British Columbia), Denmark, England and Scotland. A key theme from this international review was the importance of coordinating and sharing patient safety intelligence.

 “Many of the countries studied as part of this international review are now focusing on triangulating intelligence from the reporting and learning system with other sources of intelligence, such as from coroners’ reports, the public, and public health agencies, in order to identify patient safety concerns. This allows the pooling of patient safety intelligence from a range of sources to ensure a more accurate risk profile is identified.”

“The primary purpose of patient safety reporting systems is to learn from when things go wrong for patients and staff, and to try and prevent such incidents happening again. The most important function of a reporting system is to use the results of data analysis and investigation to share recommendations for addressing patient safety risks. These systems must encourage healthcare workers to actively report incidents through the establishment of a reporting environment which  balances the need to learn from mistakes with accountability,” Dr O’Carroll added.

A review of what is currently being done in Ireland for reporting, analysing and implementing learning from patient safety incidents and adverse events at a national level showed that there is a need for better governance and coordination of national patient safety intelligence in Ireland.

These recommendations have been approved by the HIQA Board and have been sent to the Minister for Health for the Minister’s consideration.


Leave a Reply

[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public-2"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public-2"]
Latest Issue
The Medical Independent – 24 June 2021

You need to be logged in to access this content. Please login or sign up using the links below.

[the_ad_placement id="main-mpu-public"]
Most Read
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-public-2"]
[the_ad_placement id="main-ldb-mobile-public-2"]