The project will enhance DS which represents a crucial strategic approach toward the improvement of health services safety and quality, including patients satisfaction, together with technical efficiency and, possibly, equity.
The project will make policy-makers at EU and MSs level knowledgeable about factors constraining DS performance, from operational aspects, such as faulty patient management processes and inadequately designed infrastructures, to strategic issues, like limited allocation of financial resources and poor strategic planning. Understanding of DS main issues represents a precondition for educated decisions.
DS managers and providers will have available a systematic collection of DS clinical and patient management processes and standards that will assist them in programming and managing systems and units. Best practices and standards will clarify key topics and make easier the progress toward implementation. The concept of best practice offers a way to bundle several conceptually related but independent disciplines in a way that has the potential to improve performance of health systems and thus population health.
DS managers and providers will have on hand complete and easy to use checklists that will enable them to assess patients compliance with protocols and units conformity with best practices and standards.
The utilization of a questionnaire about patient and family satisfaction and safety concerns will contribute to the detection of factual and perceived problems and their prompt correction.
In general, an expected outcome of the project is to move forwards decision-makers, managers and staff from lack of knowledge to awareness and thorough understanding. Education activities will contribute to the appreciation by local leaders and adaptation of best practices and standards to local situations. Such process will lead to better prepared personnel ready to accept responsibilities for the organization and delivery of DS services and to be accountable for the results.
In the future, European health systems will increasingly face an ethical and political dilemma regarding how to assure sustainable and equitable access to safe and effective procedures. All the above mentioned outcomes will translate into improvements of safety and quality of care for most European citizens in need of surgical care.