Background Technology, equipment and medical devices are vital for effective healthcare throughout the world but are associated with risks. These risks include device failure, inappropriate use, insufficient user-training and inadequate inspection and maintenance. Further risks within the developing world include challenging conditions of temperature and humidity, poor infrastructure, poorly trained service providers, limited resources and supervision, and inappropriately complex equipment being supplied without backup training for its use or maintenance.
Methods This document is the product of an expert working group established by WHO Patient Safety to define the measures being taken to reduce these risks. It considers how the provision of safer technology services worldwide is being enhanced in three ways: through non-punitive and open reporting systems of technology-related adverse events and near-misses, with classification and investigation; through healthcare quality assessment, accreditation and certification; and by the investigation of how appropriate design and an understanding of the conditions of use and associated human factors can improve patient safety.
Results and discussion Many aspects of these steps remain aspirational for developing countries, where highly disparate needs and a vast range of technology-related problems exist. Here, much greater emphasis must be placed on failsafe, durable and user-friendly design—examples of which are described.
- safety management
- risk management
- quality of healthcare
- adverse event
- human factors
- incident reporting
- safety culture
This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial License, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/ and http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/legalcode.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
Funding The project was funded by WHO Patient Safety.
Competing interests None.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.