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Operation Smile attends conference on patient safety guidelines

Released at: 17:05, 03/04/2019

Operation Smile attends conference on patient safety guidelines

Photo: Operation Smile

Health ministry holds conference on implementing Guidelines for Quality Standards for Safe Surgery.

by Doanh Doanh

The Ministry of Health (MoH) held a conference on implementing the Guidelines for Quality Standards for Safe Surgery, chaired by the Deputy Minister of Health Professor Nguyen Viet Tien.

MoH provided guidelines on implementing legal documents relating to Patient Safety and Safe Surgical Care, specifying Circular No. 49/2018/TT-BYT regarding Guidelines on Clinical Tests in Examination and Treatment, Circular No. 43/2018/TT-BYT regarding Guidelines on Medical Adverse Events Management, and Decision No. 7482/QD-BYT regarding Quality Standards for Safe Surgery with Eight Safe Surgery Standards officially endorsed, which is effective for adoption across Vietnam’s surgical system, including 1,450 medical facilities in its 63 cities and provinces.

As a partner of MoH, Operation Smile representatives were on hand to participate in the conference, which marks a significant achievement in their multi-year collaboration.

“Since the 68th World Health Assembly in 2015 unanimously passed WHA resolution 68.15 on strengthening emergency and essential surgical care and anesthesia as a component of universal health coverage (UHC), the Ministry of Health has collaborated with Operation Smile to actively carry out activities in support of this effort,” said Director of the Medical Services Administration Department at MoH, Associate Professor Luong Ngoc Khue. “The announcement of the newly-endorsed Safe Surgery Standards demonstrates Vietnam’s commitment to excellence in surgery as part of UHC and represents a significant achievement for the entire country.”

“Ensuring patient safety and safe surgical care is a vital goal of Vietnam’s health system, which follows patient-centered principles. The implementation of these circulars and guidelines will contribute to ensuring patient safety and safe surgical care at facilities. These are important issues that require prime concern by healthcare providers in order to ensure safety and satisfaction for patients.”

Operation Smile Co-Founders Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee joined more than 400 conference participants, including those from various departments of MoH and representatives from provincial health service departments and provincial general hospitals in all 32 provinces in Vietnam’s north, as well as international representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), Centers for Disease Control, the Lancet Commission, G4 Alliance, and Safe Surgery 2020.

The set of eight Quality Standards for Safe Surgery marks an achievement in the collaboration between MoH’s Medical Services Administration (MSA) and Operation Smile. A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed in 2014 with the goal of increasing access to safe, effective and timely surgical care within Vietnam by developing and implementing quality standards for safe surgery.

The project started with an assessment of existing surgical capacity in the country and included hospitals representing all socioeconomic zones in Vietnam. The assessment results served as baseline information for specialists to develop appropriate and feasible safe surgery standards for Vietnam. The drafting team used WHOs’ “Safe Surgery Saves Lives” document as well as Operation Smile’s Global Standards of Care as references for development of the Standards. The adoption of Safe Surgery Standards will have the potential to impact 3 million surgeries annually throughout Vietnam.

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