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Patient Safety in Korea: Current Status and Policy Issues
Attach Patient Safety in Korea Current Status and Policy Issues(KOR).pdfPatient Safety in Korea Current Status and Policy Issues(KOR).pdf Author Seo Jehee Date 2017/10/26
Contents

Patient safety, a relatively recent concept, is oriented toward a patient-centered approach. In Korea, the Patient Safety Act came to effect on July 29, 2016 for the purpose of ‘contributing to the enhancement of the quality of patient protection and medical care by setting forth necessary provisions for patient safety.’ Before the establishment and enforcement of Patient Safety Act, there was a surveillance system related patent safety. However, it was limited in function, especially in terms of information sharing. Also, the patient safety practice of health care institutions varied depending on their size and types. After the establishment of the Patient Safety Act, an exclusive medical team was and a Patient Safety Committee was established mandatorily in medical institutions of a specified size in order to reduce this kind of variation. But other hospitals and clinics that were smaller than that were excluded from this legal obligation. Although there is a risk that these institutions can be placed out of reach of an established patient safety policy, sufficient consideration was not given to this aspect. Hence, this study on current situation of patient safety in healthcare organizations was carried out by dividing organizations that carry legal obligations and it that do not carry such obligations for the purpose of survey and analysis. Research topics were drawn on the basis of the above result and a discussion has been carried out on strategies of improvement.

The Patient Safety Act has political implication in that it approached the subject in terms of a system instead of focusing on individual of a medical team regarding on negative events that occur to a patient in healthcare organizations. However, as there are many aspects to be considered for promotion of patient safety in Korea, a mid- and long-term master plan should be devised together with a necessary strategy. Especially, for grasping the level of patient safety in Korea, government should be conduct a large scale survey on actual condition of patient safety and legal arrangement should be instituted urgently in terms of confidentiality and non-punitive for promoting of a Patient Safety Reporting and Learning System. 

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