Patient safety takes a giant leap forward with unveiling of saudi national patient safety taxonomy

March 21, 2018 by

For two years, Healthcare sectors spearheaded an effort to introduce a common patient safety language across all healthcare providers in Saudi Arabia.

RIYADH, LONDON – With the unveiling of the revolutionary Saudi National Patient Safety Taxonomy, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia took a giant leap forward in the ability to analyze, interpret, and reduce the number of patient safety events nationwide. So important was this milestone, that Datix – the global leader in patient safety software solutions – called it “a watershed moment for patient safety.”

The Saudi National Patient Safety Taxonomy is a comprehensive classification system that comprises a set of concepts linked by semantic relationships. It provides a structure for organizing information to be used for many purposes, including national statistics, descriptive studies, and evaluative research.


“The taxonomy will facilitate the development of reliable, organization-based, regional and national event reporting system,” said Dr. Abdulelah Alhawsawi, Director of The Saudi Patient Safety Center. “It will also help identify priorities for patient safety and quality improvement initiatives, while also facilitating research projects and comparison of safety research findings.”


The classification system is designed to facilitate the measurement, monitoring, analysis, comparison, and interpretation of information to improve patient care and patient safety – ultimately leading to a reduction in preventable patient harm.


The taxonomy system took two years to develop, during which time Health Matrix - Datix’s regional partner – and Datix worked side by side with the majority of Healthcare sectors in Saudi Arabia to integrate the taxonomy into the Datix suite of patient safety software solutions.


Patient safety taxonomy has been on the national health agenda in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since late 2015, when King Faisal Specialist Hospital and Research Center organized a closed panel discussion session in Jeddah entitled, “Towards a National Patient Safety Taxonomy.” In collaboration with Health Matrix, a specialized healthcare IT company serving healthcare providers in the Middle East, the Saudi Arabia Ministry of Health developed a plan to improve incident reporting throughout the Kingdom. Central to that plan was the development and adoption of a patient safety taxonomy system that would be implemented at the national level.


"The Saudi National Patient Safety Taxonomy is a two-year effort by all healthcare sectors in Saudi Arabia,” said Health Matrix CEO Abdul Rahman Qasim. “It is  essential that the taxonomy be used by all healthcare sectors in Saudi Arabia in order to speak the same language and to facilitate benchmarking around patient safety.”


To help accelerate the adoption of the taxonomy, Health Matrix, and Datix will assist current Datix customers in Saudi Arabia in quickly transitioning to the new taxonomy. With the Datix integration, the taxonomy moves beyond a simple – albeit robust – classification system and to a reporting system that provides an interface that enables users throughout Saudi Arabia to collect, store, and retrieve data in a reliable and organized fashion.


“This is a watershed moment for patient safety in Saudi Arabia,” said Datix CEO Seyed Mortazavi. “With every healthcare provider in Saudi Arabia speaking the same patient safety language, the ability to analyze, understand, and eventually eliminate patient safety events across the entire Kingdom is well within reach. This milestone was the result of the hard work of many organizations, and we congratulate each of them for their role in making the taxonomy a reality.”

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