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Trainetics Speaks At The WONCA Working Party On Global Quality & Safety

Trainetics Faculty Member Pete Nataraj Presents To WHO For WONCA Working Party On Global Quality & Safety (14th December, 2022)

The WHO (World Health Organisation) is compromised of many elements one of which is WONCA. WONCA is an unusual, yet convenient acronym comprising the first five initials of the World Organization of National Colleges, Academies and Academic Associations of General Practitioners/Family Physicians. WONCA's short name is World Organization of Family Doctors. The WHO recognised at their 72nd assembly in 2019 that improving patient safety, especially from unsafe acts within while under the care of the health system is a major issue. This recognition led to the development of the Global safety Action Plan. This was presented to the 2021 assembly and aims to provide Member States and other stakeholders with an action-oriented framework to facilitate the implementation of strategic patient safety interventions at all levels of health systems globally over the next 10 years (2021–2030).


The action plan has some incredible and frightening statistics, for example, worldwide, annually there are 134 million unsafe acts in medical settings contributing to an expected 2.6 million deaths per year. In an aviation context the equivalent of crashing 96 A380’s every day!

The fact that the WHO is spearheading this initiative to eliminate these events over the next decade is a fantastic step. It is also interesting to read how the action plan puts a huge focus on improving Human Factors (HF) training as a key element in making those improvements. As the first part of this process WONCA asked Trainetics be part of their push to introduce HF concepts into Primary Care. This was done as a webinar on 14 th Dec 2022 attended live by representatives from as far afield as China, Africa, North and South America and is to be hosted on the WONCA website to allow other members to view at their leisure (and time zone).


Trainetics were asked to be involved in this project as a leader in the practical application of Human Factors principles, learned over decades of implementing those principles in the aviation field. We were asked what lessons could be learned from aviation after sucessfully making HF training part of the structure of aviation instruction. Also how some of those lessons could be practically applied to medicine to try to make some of the same huge gains made in aviation safety.



The session was hosted by Prof. Jose M Valderas, Chair of WONCA Working Party on Quality and Safety, Head Division of Family Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine Singapore, and Dr Maud Nauta, GP and WONCA Working Party on Quality and Safety lead on Human Factors. The programme included: • Introduction: Human factors in Primary Health Care-what does it mean? Speaker: Dr Maud Nauta MRCGP MAS Patient Safety and Healthcare Quality, Human Factor Trainer and WONCA Working Party on Quality and Safety lead on Human Factors, Affiliate Member Chartered Institute of Ergonomics and Human Factors. • Using a Human Factors Approach to Improve Electronic Health Record (EHR) use in Primary Care. Speaker: John W. Beasley MD, Professor Emeritus, Department of Family Medicine, and Community Health, University of Wisconsin and Honorary Associate University of Wisconsin School of Engineering, Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering. • Lessons learned from Human Factor integration in Aviation. Speaker: Peter Nataraj, Senior First Officer, and Human Factor Trainer Commercial Aviation, Trainetics.


The session finished with a panel discussion amongst the speakers talking about the practical direction going forward and the next steps in for WONCA. Also the clear message that this is just a starting point of a process.


The aims of the WHO Patient Safety Action plan are ambitious and such huge gains in safety will take time to achieve.


Its exciting that Trainetics is helping to achieve this.

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