CONTEXT, APPROACHES, FUTURE OF QUALITY MANAGEMENT OF HEALTHCARE IN EUROPE AND BULGARIA. PREVENTION OF MEDICAL ERRORS
Zlatitsa Petrova and Elisaveta Petrova-Geretto
ABSTRACT:The report overviews the context, conditions and approaches to quality management in Europe and Bulgaria. The importance for nation-wide healthcare quality assurance policies is well recognised and there are a number of laws and regulations, shared responsibilities with regards to quality implementation aims, expert committees and national quality coordinators in various medical spheres. Main approaches to quality management in Bulgaria are discussed such as registration and licensing of physicians and healthcare establishments, certification, continuous medical education and qualification, accreditation, registration of pharmaceutical products, medical equipment and blood products, followed by drafting and development of standards/instructions for practice and auditing/inspection follow-ups. The active participation of professional organizations in developing GMP requirements is appreciated. The draft of National Health Strategy 2021-2030 and patient safety as integral part of health policy with regards to quality improvement is discussed. The work of European and Bulgarian inspectorates and supervision institutions is analysed and proposals for amendments in quality managements legislation are made.
Conclusion: Quality assurance, safety, medical errors and sentinel events suggest serious issues system-wide and not only from medical, but also from financial, legal, ethical and societal standpoint. This is a quality indicator in healthcare that requires attention to be focused not only on medical errors as such, but on improvement of all aspects of healthcare delivery.
Keywords: quality, quality management, safety, supervision, medical services