Key progress in the patient safety movement in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been the call for a common language - a taxonomy - for categorizing medical events. The concept of a taxonomy combines terminology and the science of classification - in the case of patient safety, the Identification and classification of things that go wrong in health care, the causes why they occur, and the preventive approaches that can minimize their reoccurrence.
The Saudi Patient Safety Taxonomy was published in 2018, a comprehensive standard classification on patient safety events providing a structure for organizing information to be used for many purposes, including national statistics, descriptive studies, and evaluative research.
The purpose for developing a National Patient Safety Taxonomy
The purpose of the national classification for Patient Safety is to enable the categorization of patient safety information using standardized sets of concepts with agreed definitions, preferred terms, and the relationships between them. Furthermore, the Saudi Patient Safety classification has been designed to be genuine conjunction of national perceptions of the main issues related to patient safety and to facilitate the development of reliable organization - based, regional and national event reporting systems allowing for description, comparison, measurement, monitoring, analysis, and interpretation of information to improve patient care and its related policies. As a result, will enable setting up priorities in best practices in terms of patient safety and quality improvement initiatives.
The value of a Patient Safety Taxonomy
Presenting a unified and coherent structure for event reporting in Saudi Arabia through a working taxonomy conveys the message that the healthcare Sector will maintain a singular focus on the national detection, capture, analysis, and reporting of all aspects of medical events. Structuring patient safety information and sharing it in a structured way can support a deeper understanding of things that go wrong in health care, which could lead to the implementation of positive actions in a consistent fashion. It provides an infrastructure that will support the development of specific modules to address emerging patient safety concerns and facility-specific or regional interests. Moreover, standardized definitions found in the taxonomy are required to develop better quantitative and qualitative measures in patient safety. The Saudi Patient Safety Taxonomy could serve as a 'learning point' for developing countries that are falling behind to join the patient safety movement.