Journal of the European Society for Gynaecological Endoscopy


Patient safety in training


Patient safety, human factors, non-technical skills, adverse events, patient harm.


University of Vienna, Department of Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Austria. Head of the section “Patient safety & Risk Management”.


Patient safety has developed considerably in the past 15 years and must be seen as an own field of knowledge. De- spite the evidence of its effectiveness, patient safety skills and techniques are often ignored in medical education and training. This results in an unnecessary great number of patient harm – also known as “adverse events”.

High reliability industries such as civil aviation found out, that the so called “human factor“ is the main reason for the most catastrophic accidents. It could also be shown, that these “human factors“– problems, including ineffective communication and teamwork can only be improved by education and training of the so called “non-technical skills“. Meanwhile this could also be demonstrated for the patient safety problems in health care. It turned out, that all safety related human problems are the same in every industry, no matter how different they may look from the outside.

Education and training concepts in medicine must therefore be changed and adopted according to the current needs, as also proposed by WHO in their guidelines concerning patient safety.