Welcome to this special ‘safety and quality’ themed issue of PACEsetterS. As I write this editorial I am reminded of the graduation ceremony I recently attended where Dr Tony Sherbon, South Australian Health Chief Executive, highlighted to new graduands their responsibility to be well-informed professionals, the changing landscape of health care and the “rise of the health care consumer movement”.
With this and other developments in mind, such as the recent call for a Consumer Commissioner by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care to bring a background and knowledge of safety and quality in health care from a consumer perspective, I am reminded that safety and quality is not only about those who work in health services, but importantly also those who use them.
In this context, I was delighted to read the story about consumer perspectives on safety and quality and the value that is now placed upon the contribution they can make to such initiatives. Similarly Phillip Hassen, Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Patient Safety Network, tells us about the importance of consumers as active partners in their care and the need to ensure they are provided with good quality information.
It is clear that we face similar challenges across the world with regard to safety and quality and that the provision of high quality information for decision-making remains essential. This is highlighted in our interview with Professor Bill Runciman who speaks with passion about the need for, and relevance of, good evidence.
Individuals and groups around the world are committed to ensuring quality, safe and accessible health care systems for their communities. Whether we are talking about falls prevention in Australia, hand washing in Canada or safe surgery across the world, evidence continues to play a vital role in safety and quality initiatives, along with strong leadership and community engagement.
As this issue of PACEsetterS goes to print we are busy gearing up for the 6th Biennial Joanna Briggs Colloquium in Cordoba, Spain, and are excited about the rich discussions and debates that will no doubt occur throughout the event. I am certain that the role of evidence in informing safety and quality initiatives will be a hot topic, along with many others relating to the role of evidence in health care more broadly. If you are yet to register I encourage you to take advantage of this unique opportunity to share your thoughts and experiences with others from across the world. I hope I might have an opportunity to meet you in Cordoba as this promises to be a large and exciting meeting. You can register online – follow the links from the Institute home page www.joannabriggs.edu.au
I also invite you to share your thoughts with us on the role of evidence in safety and quality by emailing your comments to me email@example.com
I hope you enjoy this issue.© 2008 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.