Medication Without Harm in Denmark

Contact:

Patient Safety Officer Ulrikke Bryde-Nielsen, The Danish Patient Safety Authority
Phone: +45 25 55 43 12
Email: ulbn@stps.dk

Chief Physician, Programme Manager Tina Berg Jensen, The Danish Society for Patient Safety
Phone: +45 2337 7974
Email: tbj@patientsikkerhed.dk

Background and organization

In March 2018 Denmark launched the national patient safety programme “Medicin uden skade” as part of the 3rd global WHO patient safety initiative “Medication Without Harm”.

Read more about Medication without Harm in Denmark

On a global level, the overall goal for the programme is to reduce severe, avoidable medication-related harm by 50 % within five years through initiatives that address the three WHO-defined focus areas ‘polypharmacy’, ‘high-risk situations’ and ‘transition of care’.

The national programme is led by Danish Patient Safety Authority and Danish Society for Patient Safety and is supported by key stakeholders (see below) in the Danish healthcare system:

  • The Danish Patient Safety Authority
  • The Danish Society for Patient Safety
  • The Danish Health Authority
  • The Danish Medicines Agency
  • Danish Regions
  • Local Government Denmark
  • The Danish Medical Association
  • The Danish Nurses Organization
  • The Danish College of General Practitioners
  • Danish Patients
  • Pharmadanmark – a trade union for academics in the pharmaceutical sector
  • FOA – a trade union for social and healthcare workers
  • a patient/relative representative

Incident types

Figure 1. Incidents reported to the Danish Patient Safety Database in 2017. Medication was the cause of 52 % of the approximately 200.000 incidents reported from Danish hospitals and municipalities. 


Organization of the Danish National Programme

The Programme Committee: a steering committee including representatives from the key stakeholder organizations as well as a representative for patients and patients and relatives.

The purpose of the Programme Committee is to:

  • transfer and adapt the WHO initiatives to the Danish healthcare system.
  • provide an overview of existing national initiatives and projects, which address the improvement of medication safety – within the WHO-defined areas of ‘polypharmacy’, ‘high risk situations’ and ‘transition of care’.
  • raise awareness of the medication safety work on the national agenda.
  • support initiatives that focus on improvement of medication safety
  • coordinate and ensure correlation between focus areas and sectors relevant for ‘Medication Without Harm’.

The Reference Group: a group representing the Danish healthcare system. Members are selected according to their professional expertise and qualifications. Their main purpose is to ensure the highest possible professional standard and relevance for the national programme, hereby supporting the Programme Committee.

This group of experts has already established a ressourceful network, sharing knowledge and experiences with each other.

The Secretariat: is shared between the Danish Patient Safety Authority and the Danish Society for Patient Safety and it supports both the Programme Committee and the Reference Group. When required, the Secretariat has the ability to engage relevant professional experts such as pharmacists and improvement advisors.

A lot of medicine needs extra attention
The overall goal – on a global level as well as on a national level – is to reduce severe, avoidable medication-related harm by 50% in five years using initiatives which address the three WHO-defined focus areas ‘polypharmacy’, ‘high risk situations’ and ‘transition of care’.