Helsinki Declaration: follow-up project update

Helsinki Declaration: follow-up project update

Monday 3 June, 0830-0915H, Room Schubert 5

The Helsinki Declaration on Patient Safety in Anaesthesiology (HD) is a comprehensive framework of patient safety requirements for anaesthesia departments launched in 2010. Since then, it has been a subject of many sessions here at Euroanaesthesia and the project continues to evolve almost a decade since its inception.

Many national anaesthesia societies and other organisations have signed it, but it is not clear how well it has been adopted into practice. The HD-Follow-Up Project evaluates the implementation of the HD, and potential obstacles. This lecture presents the preliminary results of the first evaluation project, and will be given by Dr Andrew Fairley-Smith, Department of Anaesthesia, Royal Lancaster Infirmary, Lancaster, UK. He himself was a co-author of the HD.

Surveys were sent to anaesthesiologists in 38 countries that have signed the HD, and 1589 responses (32%) were returned. Most of those surveyed had heard of the HD through ESA events, with almost half (44%) saying the declaration had caused an overall improvement in patient safety, with 50% unsure.

There were several interesting findings from the survey, including that 78% of respondents always used the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist, 16% sometimes using it, and 8% not using it. Poor motivation and collaboration, and simply forgetting about it, were reasons why some respondents said the checklist had not been used. And in the suggestions section, around a third of respondents suggested a ‘daily checklist’ could be created for them all to use in their daily duties, while a quarter suggested the HD itself needed more publicity.

Dr Fairley-Smith will also discuss the results of the second phase of the follow-up project, involving structured calls with ESA Council members and National Anaesthesiology Societies Committee representatives. Among the results discussed will be changes in anaesthesia practice since 2010, incident reporting, training and education, and the role of patients themselves in safety.