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Eur J Gen Pract. 2015 Sep;21:62-8. doi: 10.3109/13814788.2015.1043727.

Patient safety initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe: A mixed methods approach by the LINNEAUS collaboration on patient safety in primary care.

The European journal of general practice

Maciek Godycki-Cwirko, Aneez Esmail, Susan Dovey, Michel Wensing, Dianne Parker, Anna Kowalczyk, Honorata Błaszczyk, Katarzyna Kosiek


  1. a Medical University of Lodz, Department of Family and Community Medicine , Lodz , Poland.

PMID: 26339839 PMCID: PMC4828625 DOI: 10.3109/13814788.2015.1043727


BACKGROUND: Despite patient safety being recognized as an important healthcare issue in the European Union, there has been variable implementation of patient safety initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE).

OBJECTIVE: To assess the status of patient safety initiatives in countries in CEE; to describe a process of engagement in Poland, which can serve as a template for the implementation of patient safety initiatives in primary care.

METHODS: A mixed methods design was used. We conducted a review of literature focusing on publications from CEE, an inventory of patient safety initiatives in CEE countries, interviews with key informants, international survey, review of national reporting systems, and pilot demonstrator project in Poland with implementation of patient safety toolkits assessment.

RESULTS: There was no published patient safety research from Albania, Belarus, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, or Russia. Nine papers were found from Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Serbia, and Slovenia. In most of the CEE countries, patient safety had been addressed at the policy level although the focus was mainly in hospital care. There was a dearth of activity in primary care. The use of patient improvement strategies was low.

CONCLUSION: International cooperation as exemplified in the demonstrator project can help in the development and implementation of patient safety initiatives in primary care in changing the emphasis away from a blame culture to one where greater emphasis is placed on improvement and learning.

Keywords: LINNEAUS collaboration; Patient safety; implementation; primary care; safety culture


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