Safety in fragile, conflict-affected, and vulnerable settings: An evidence scanning approach for identifying patient safety interventions

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Title: Safety in fragile, conflict-affected, and vulnerable settings: An evidence scanning approach for identifying patient safety interventions
Authors: O'Brien, N
Shaw, A
Flott, K
Leatherman, S
Durkin, M
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Background The number of people living in fragile, conflict-affected, and vulnerable (FCV) settings is growing rapidly and attention to achieving universal health coverage must be accompanied by sufficient focus on the safety of care for universal access to be meaningful. Healthcare workers in these settings are working under extreme conditions, often with insufficient contextualized evidence to support decision-making. Recognising the relative paucity of, and methodological issues in gathering evidence from these settings, the evidence scanning described in this paper considered which patient safety interventions might offer the ‘better bet’, e.g., the most effective and appropriate intervention in FCV settings. Methods An evidence scanning approach was used to examine the literature. The search was limited to FCV settings and low-income settings as defined by the World Bank, but if a systematic review included a mix of evidence from FCV/low income settings, as well as low-middle income settings, it was included. The search was conducted in English and limited to studies published from 2003 onwards, utilising Google Scholar as a publicly accessible database and further review of the grey literature, with specific attention to the outputs of non-governmental organisations. The search and subsequent analysis were completed between April and June 2020. Findings The majority of studies identified related to strengthening infection prevention and control which was also found to be the ‘better bet’ intervention that could generalise to other settings, be most feasible to implement, and most effective for improving patient care and associated outcomes. Other prioritized interventions include risk management, with contributing elements such as reporting, audits, and death review processes. Conclusions Infection prevention and control interventions dominate in the literature for multiple reasons including strength of evidence, acceptability, feasibility, and impact on patient and health worker wellbeing. However, there is an urgent need to further develop the evidence base, specialist knowledge, and field guidance on a range of other patient safety interventions such as education and training, patient identification, subject specific safety actions, and risk management.
Date of Acceptance: 13-Dec-2021
ISSN: 2047-2978
Publisher: Edinburgh University Global Health Society
Journal / Book Title: Journal of Global Health
Copyright Statement: This paper is embargoed until publication. Once published it will be available fully open access.
Sponsor/Funder: NIHR PSTRC
Funder's Grant Number: NIHR PSTRC
Keywords: 1117 Public Health and Health Services
Publication Status: Accepted
Embargo Date: publication subject to indefinite embargo
Appears in Collections:Department of Surgery and Cancer
Institute of Global Health Innovation
School of Public Health