Under the 2004 health insurance law, French National Authority for Health (HAS) is in charge to plan and carry out the accreditation process of physicians and medical teams. It’s a voluntary approach to risk management which involves 19 high risk medical specialties working in hospitals (surgery, anesthesiology and intensive care, other specialties with interventional activities as well as obstetric ultrasound examinations). The main aim of accreditation is to improve quality of clinical practice and patient safety, by reducing number and severity of care-related adverse events.

For each speciality, approved accreditation bodies define the accreditation programme followed by their physicians. It contains:

  • analysis of adverse events relating to care and occurring in daily practice;
  • assessment of professional best practices;
  • implementation of recommendations;
  • participation in knowledge development activities.

Accreditation is also a method for Continuing Professional Development; it contributes to the accreditation of healthcare organisations and is linked to the development of the culture of safety. National health insurance reimburses a part of the professional insurance of accredited physicians in some defined cases.

In 2022, about 8,200 physicians are engaged in this continuous improvement program with regards to their practice, resulting in the declaration of 155,600 adverse events, analysed and recorded in a dedicated database. About 28 % of those physicians are engaged collectively in about 300 teams.

Risk-reduction tools from adverse event analysis

HAS collects, since 2007, adverse events reported by physicians engaged in accreditation process and, with the help of approved bodies, analyzes them and produces risk-reduction tools. Called Patient Safety Solution (PSS), these tools offer practical measures to implement and key messages for physicians in specific situations at risk, for which there is no recommendation in the existing literature.

Following PSS has already been provided:
Selected adverse events, chosen for their educational interest and their quality of analysis, are described in a series of documents entitled “Focus on patient safety".

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