Organization: Danish Society for Patient Safety
Forum: Patient engagement
Established in 2001, the Danish Society for Patient Safety is a non-profit organization which works to ensure that patient safety is an aspect of all decisions made in Danish health care. They work with domestic and international partners to implement a wide range of projects, provide advice to legislators and stakeholders, arrange study tours and conferences, and suggest standards for safe operation.
One such project is the Patient Handbook. This written guide, which is estimated to be owned by 10% of households in Denmark, facilitates patient and family involvement when receiving hospital care. It includes a treatment plan section for patients or relatives/carers to complete, a number of toolkits on issues such as hygiene, diet and exercise, pain and medication, and information on patient rights. This is designed to inform and empower patients and their relatives/carers throughout an episode of hospital treatment.
This handbook has been transformed into a series of question prompts to create the Just Ask campaign. Patients can choose specific questions, add their own and engage with other patients to make/receive suggestions. This allows them to form a personal question checklist which will encourage them to ask questions about their care in a bid to help to overcome "white coat" silence. A study showed 86% of those targeted had an improved dialogue with medical staff.
The Society uses innovative community outreach strategies and communication channels to disseminate information. This includes healthcare providers, patient organizations, media, unions, businesses and even hairdressers.