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Having a congress like this allows us to meet with different professions and interact around common topics and interests. It was very helpful for me to understand the challenges faced by my colleagues from other professions and disciplines. This gives us an opportunity to take a step back from clinical practice
and to interact, to be updated,
to reconnect and network.








~ Prof Julian Thumboo 
Director, SingHealth Health Services Research Centre


Programme >

Patient Safety Symposium  
Patient Safety and the Three Pillars of Academic Medicine


 Track type: Symposium


 Duration: 90 minutes


 Location: Academia, Auditorium

Topic 1:

Involvement in a Medical Error: What Should It Mean To You?

Ms Pang Nguk Lan


Patient safety incorporates all the elements that can contribute to an adverse event during the provision of healthcare. Many of these activities can be subjected to error which can result in patient harm. Although there is a tendency for healthcare team members to define the error as a breach of standards by an individual, more often the break in the safety and quality in clinical practice is caused by a combination of personal, contextual and task-dependent factors. To improve safe care delivery, practices need to engage in quality improvement activities through the development and implementation of strategies that reduce the possibility of events that result in patient harm.


Clinical governance and leadership are at the heart of reform in the areas of quality and safety. Quality improvement requires a collaborative effort of all levels of staff, and they need to feel empowered to contribute to good care by raising safety concerns and be supported to ensure risk and harm are eliminated. Fostering a culture of safety and quality, and partnership in healthcare settings is critical to safety and quality movement. Essentially, there is also a need to provide safety knowledge and skills across practice activities to create safeguards for patients. 


Topic 2:

Patient Safety Initiatives: Well-analysed Recommendations or Knee-jerk Reactions?

Assoc Prof Sophia Ang


Research into the area of patient safety is fairly new and can be very difficult: It is challenging to find research subjects to do a project to proof that parachutes improves survival. Many factors confound patient safety projects in real life. When harm occurs there is a great deal of emotion attached and a level of urgency to take action based on even one catastrophic event. Yet if immediate action is taken before baseline measures can be made then improvements cannot be measured accurately.

In other words there is often a conflict between urgency to close a loop and enough evidence before taking action. Furthermore cost savings are also very difficult to define in patient safety hence there is a reluctance to put in resources if cost savings cannot be clearly defined or are small in amount.


Usually, patient safety depends on a multi-prong approach rather than a single intervention that also compounds the issue of proving an intervention is useful. Hence, patient safety research that is bedside-back-to-bench and then bench-back-to-bedside has been interesting -- most applicable to clinicians, but also difficult.


In this presentation, there will be sharing on research into: early escalation, medication safety, critical laboratory results communication, culture of safety, handover of care and other areas. 

Topic 3: 
“You’ve Got to Start Them Young”: Starting Patient Safety Education Early in Medical Schools

Assoc Prof Ong Biauw Chi
Patient safety is a relatively new topic for medical schools and for postgraduate professionals as well. This topic is not only important but covers a very side area and boundaries. It is a non-examinable subject and thus requires innovative and engaging methods in its sharing. The importance of patient safety cannot be debated. However, the imparting of knowledge in this area has to cover the intent, the professional pride and ownership of the issues as well as, the techniques and tools in analysing issues and implementing improvement. This session will look at the various techniques used in promoting education in patient safety and the various curriculum suggested by WHO and other organisations.
*Information is correct at time of update