Safety and Value Must Go Hand-in-Hand: Driving the Debate Forward During Infection Prevention Week

Safety and Value Must Go Hand-in-Hand: Driving the Debate Forward During Infection Prevention Week

brennanMichelle Brennan, Company Group Chair, Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies, Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) and Chair of the Board of MedTech Europe


Primum non nocere: ‘first, do no harm’. This is the fundamental tenet of the healthcare professionals that care for us in every corner of the globe to ensure we get better, safely. It is my belief – as an industry that supports healthcare providers do their best job on their best day – that this tenet applies as equally to us. Patient safety must sit at the heart of our industry agenda if we wish to deliver true value every day and in the most impactful ways.

Patient Safety Day falls on 17 September each year. To mark the day, this year Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies partnered with the Clinical Services Journal to create a thought leader platform for infection prevention and patient safety experts. As part of our industry’s longstanding commitment to collaborating with stakeholders, the aim was to provide an independent and credible asset that gives the patient safety debate the voice it deserves.

Published today for International Infection Prevention Week (14-20 October), and delivered as a collection of interviews, ‘Through the Looking Glass: A World Without Surgery-related Infections’ paints a picture of a world that is safer for patients. Importantly, the supplement drives the infection prevention debate forward by expressing how stakeholders can lead and win the fight against surgery-related infection today and into the future. It is critical reading.

  • Professor David Leaper, surgeon, lecturer and researcher of infection prevention, discusses the need for infection prevention ‘champions’ and the importance of adherence to guidelines particular given the challenge of antibiotic resistance.
  • Dawn Stott, CEO for the Association for Perioperative Practice with around 28 years in healthcare, highlights practitioner empowerment as an important driving force alongside raising awareness broadly, including with patients.
  • Dr. Ron Daniels, consultant in critical care and Chief Executive of the Global Sepsis Alliance, advises that surgery-related sepsis cases have huge economic implications.
  • Professor Mike Reed, trauma and orthopaedic surgeon, researcher and chairman of British Orthopaedic Association Education Committee, outlines how comorbidities impact infection rates and his Trusts’ zero-tolerance approach to infection.

To read the full collection of thought leader interviews, complete with best practices that are already making a measured difference across the continuum of care, visit the Clinical Service Journal website.

What I heard loud and clear in each of the leader interviews was what humanity stands to gain from getting this right, and the heightened definition of value that would result; namely safer, more sustainable healthcare. Value-based healthcare is defined by quality and safety standards that ensure patients have the best opportunity to get better, faster. Improving patient outcomes and experience are two pillars of the ‘triple aim’ meaning patient safety is intrinsically linked to both outcomes and experience, and furthermore to potentially huge cost savings.

Of course, MedTech already delivers value in numerous ways by reducing preventable harm and thus minimizing related healthcare costs. But, until all safety gaps are closed, we must continue to support and enhance best practices. We must always strive to do more to improve patient safety with the physical and figurative tools that we place in the hands of care providers.

Importantly, collaboration is key. It is not the remit of just one individual or one organisation. It requires multiple stakeholders across the entire patient pathway to unite together. Only together will our vision of a world free of surgery-related infections come to fruition.




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