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European Biopharmaceutical Review

Primum non nocere: First, do no harm

 

Ever since the publication of the report, ‘To Err is Human; Building a Safer Health System’, the medical world has begun to open its eyes to the magnitude and impact of errors (1). The report was issued in 1999 by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences in the US, and called for a broad effort to improve the situation, which included the reporting of errors and adverse events. With the latter, we mean an injury related to care (diagnosis, treatment, failure, systems and equipment used). The world needed some time to accept that in the Western, more people die due to preventable errors in hospitals than by traffic accidents, or other situations which are generally perceived as being more dangerous.

This report was certainly not the only one published and many followed. In the Netherlands, for example, the President Director of Shell Netherlands, Mr Rein Willems, published a report in 2004 which included four ways to reduce errors by no less than 75 per cent within a period of 15 years. Willems claimed the necessity of the introduction of a certified clinical risk management system and strong governmental supervision.


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Gian Schiava is Marketing Manager at The Patient Safety Company, where he works on the international expansion of this Dutch company. He has more than 20 years of marketing and sales experience in various industries, varying from office furniture to heavy-duty forklifts. As a member of the Management Team, he is interested in the current challenge to market products that lead to a reduction of incidents and improved patient safety levels, both in large medical hospitals and smaller, specialised healthcare organisations. Gian holds a Bachelor in Economics and undertook post-doctoral studies.
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