All Dutch hospitals to have a Safety Management System by 2013

By December 31, 2012 it is expected that all Dutch hospitals will have implemented a certified Safety Management System. The requirements for a Safety Management System are defined in a national standard (NTA 8009), and include specific requirements related to the following topics:

  • Safety as ultimate responsibility of the Board of Directors
  • Risk awareness of employees
  • Participation of patients
  • Prospective risk analysis
  • Incident reporting and retrospective risk analysis
  • Safety indicators and control systems
  • Change management
  • Continuous improvement

Ten safety priorities have been identified. It is expected that implementation of a Safety Management System will lead to measurably better outcomes related to these priorities. For each of these priorities, implementation strategies, indicators and goals have been developed to assist hospitals with implementation.

The ten safety priorities are:

  • Surgical site infections
  • Catheter-associated sepsis
  • Early recognition of unstable vital signs
  • Medication errors and medication verification
  • Frail and elderly patients: delerium, falls, loss of mobility and malnutrition
  • Acute myocardial infarct
  • Suffering from pain
  • High risk medications
  • Patient identification
  • Kidney injury related to contrast agents

The Safety Management System project started in 2007 with an expected duration of 4.5 years. The overall goal is to reduce preventable injury to patients by 50% in this timeframe. 95% of hospitals have started quality improvement projects in all ten themes, although the majority of hospitals are not yet meeting safety targets. Results for individual hospitals related to these ten priorities will be reported in 2013.


Primary Source: VMS Veiligheidsprogramma