The Patient Safety Foundation Switzerland is an independent expert organisation. As a national competence centre, it advocates a constructive and consistent safety culture in the healthcare sector.
Together with service providers and relevant actors in the public health sector, the Foundation launches and implements application-oriented research projects and national pilot programmes to promote patient safety.
Its aim is to reduce risks in the care of patients in the inpatient and outpatient sector and to effectively support and sustainably promote the development of patient safety in Switzerland.
Two fatal “never events”, the fatal confusion of sides during a leg amputation and a fatal ampoule mix-up, led the then Federal Councillor Ruth Dreifuss to set up a task force in 2001. The task force was to make proposals for a national programme to increase patient safety. Among other things, it called for the creation of a national centre for patient safety. With one-off start-up funding from the Federal Office of Public Health, the Swiss Patient Safety Foundation was founded on 18 November 2003. It is currently supported by 15 organisations.
Definition patient safety
The Foundation is guided by the World Health Organisation (WHO) definition: “Patient safety is the absence of avoidable harm in patient care and the reduction of the risk of unnecessary harm in health care to an acceptable minimum.”