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This handbook has been prepared by EASAPS patient safety committee to help European plastic surgeons organize their practice in a systematic and professional manner in aim to build up an accredited facility. The handbook rather serves as a guide and a source of reference for a surgeon in creating his/her personalized, country and clinic specific documentation system both complying with the National legislation and adapted to the local conditions.

The ultimate goal is patient safety. Well-defined written instructions allow easy learning, uniform protocols, less mistakes, better predictability, happy staff and happy patient. Quality=patient safety.

PATIENT SAFETY is a health care discipline that emerged with the evolving complexity in health care systems and the resulting rise of patient harm in health care facilities. It aims to prevent and reduce risks, errors and harm that occur to patients during provision of health care. A cornerstone of the discipline is continuous improvement based on learning from errors and adverse events.

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched, in 2004, the World Alliance for Patient Safety, with the purpose of awakening the commitment among health professionals to improve the safety of patient care, being the surgical environment a first place to implement security practices.

As surgeons and physicians, we need to ensure protection to our patients by preventing some of the main errors defined by WHO:

  • Medication errors
  • Health care-associated infections
  • Unsafe surgical care procedures: cause complications in up to 25% of patients. Almost 7 million surgical patients suffer significant complications annually, 1 million of whom die during or immediately following surgery (1,2).
  • Unsafe injections practices
  • Deep venous thromboembolism

The most important aspects in our specialty are:

Informed Consent form: safety for the plastic surgeon and the patient, since it equals and consolidates the relationship of trust and transparency between the two, fulfilling the obligation of the doctor to inform the patient and in turn that this patient declares that understood and that he/she agrees to submit to the proposed treatment. The consent form must provide adequate and sufficient information, containing the nature and purpose of the treatment, the probable risks and benefits, the alternative treatments, in addition to the risks of failing to perform the proposed treatment or the alternatives

Surgical checklist: the use of the checklist allows the collection of data and the identification of potential risks, promoted favorable changes in the attitudes of some professionals, and generated interest in patient safety and the team labor. It helps as well to reduce SSI (surgical site infections)

Patient confidentiality: with the spread of use of social media as a way to promote and advertise our job.

Prevention of DVT and stratification of its risk in plastic surgery, as Caprini´s score seems not to be well fit to our procedures.

This handbook is the first step to help all plastic surgeons in Europe to provide the best quality in assistance. EASAPS is committed to this goal through endorsement and championship of patient safety in Europe.