ICHA Patient Safety Initiative

The Issue- Unsafe Healthcare

We all desire safe, timely, effective, affordable, equitable and patient – centred healthcare. What we get in reality is far from what we desire; healthcare has become complex, costly and risky due to the flawed and weak healthcare system lacking adequate investment, resources and attention. Improvement of quality, safety and efficiency in healthcare is what everybody needs and wants and yet, few are willing to do something about it. Urgent action needs to be taken to address the daunting issue but not on an individual or piecemeal basis. It is a systemic issue and needs to be addressed in a concerted and consequential manner.

Magnitude of Unsafe Healthcare-Some disturbing statistics

In Healthcare there is a tsunami everyday …….We don’t realize it!

Despite recognition of the fact that “safe healthcare for all” is fundamental to improve the health index, precious little has been done to address the problem. Every day, lack of patient safety measures in healthcare facilities devastates the lives of millions of people. Hundreds of millions of patients worldwide are suffering from infections acquired in health-care facilities.

Factsheet (WHO)

  • In developed countries, 1 in 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care
  • 421 million hospitalizations worldwide annually & approximately 42.7 million adverse events
  • An estimated 44,000–98,000 deaths due to medical error occur annually in the USA (more deaths than from highway accidents, breast cancer, or AIDS)

Healthcare- associated infections (HAIs)
  • At any given time, 1.4 million people worldwide suffer from HAI; in intensive care units, Hospital infection affects about 30% of patients and the mortality may reach 44% (USA)
  • HAIs complicate between 5% & 10% of admissions in acute care hospitals in industrialized countries
  • Unsafe injections account for 33% of viral hepatitis B (HBV), 42% of hepatitis C (HCV) and 2% HIV infections
Increasing cases of traumatic injuries & surgical procedures
  • 63 million trauma cases
  • 31 million malignancies
  • 10 million obstetric complications
  • Surgery rates ≈ Child birth rates
  • 234 million surgical operations performed worldwide annually
  • Unsafe surgery leads to 7 million complications & 1 million deaths p.a.
  • In low- and middle-income countries, surgical site infection is the most surveyed type of infection with incidence rates ranging from 1.2 to 23.6 per 100 surgical procedures

Surgeries are the most complex health services and costliest. Hence Safe Surgery is a Public Health Priority.

Overall, unsafe healthcare is an economic burden and so is a major PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE. Studies show that poor quality and unsafe care including: avoidable medical errors leading to additional hospitalizations and extra medical expenses, litigation costs, infections acquired in hospitals, disability, lost income and productivity have cost some countries as much as US$ 19 billion a year. Though no reliable or well documented data on magnitude of unsafe healthcare in India is available, but healthcare experiences, media reports and estimates by WHO and other global agencies suggest a worse situation in India and other developing countries including those in South -East Asia.

How ICHA proposes to address the issue

ICHA propose to promote “safe healthcare for all” in our country with our technical and professional competencies covering the areas of education, awareness, adoption and implementation of best practices and thus, bring about the desired change. The economic benefits of this activity itself would bring returns several times worth the investment required. The social benefits are bonuses.

ICHA Patient Safety Initiative – Snapshot of what ICHA has done so far

To reinforce ICHA’s mission, viz. “Patient Safety as the core of Healthcare Excellence”, ICHA has embarked on implementation of Patient Safety initiative through the WHO – Patient Safety, Action Areas and Global Patient Safety Challenges (GPSC I, II & III). The initiative comprises the following:-

  1. Commonwealth Fellowship Programme- We received overwhelming response from the fraternity throughout the information dissemination, application and nomination process. We have successfully secured the maximum possible scholarships. Many more such opportunities will be available continually.

  2. Online Patient Safety learning program through Peoples University, http//:peoples-uni.org.

  3. Multi – location events- One day events have been conducted all over the country. The first event was at held KEM Hospital, Mumbai on April 19th ‘09. The subsequent events were conducted in Bhopal on 10th May followed by programmes in Jaipur, Jalandhar, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Ranchi, Bangalore, Lucknow, Vellore, Chennai and a scheduled programme at New Delhi. All the events so far have been extensively covered by the media and have generated very enthusiastic response.

  4. Develop partnerships with Healthcare Systems

  5. Consolidation and Pre-convention event at Delhi in September ’09

  6. ICHA Convention on Patient Safety: 27 – 29 November ‘09 in New Delhi- The convention had detailed deliberations on various aspects of Patient Safety and focus on all WHO-Patient Safety Action Areas. Special focus was on India centric priorities and contributions.

    The outcomes were that ICHA fraternity along with Global Partners will undertake the following:

    • Establish ICHA Alliance for Patient Safety to form Action Area Groups to sustain and carry forward the Patient Safety mission continually
    • Bring together major Health Systems viz. Railways, ESIC, CGHS, DHS – Delhi Govt., JSK and priority states, MCD Delhi
    • Bring together ICMR, DGHS and various educational institutions including MAMC, LHMC, RML and AIIMS
    • Collaborate with Professional Councils viz. Medical, Dental, Pharmacy and Nursing
    • Explore technology solutions in collaboration with Biomedical Engineering Group of IITs and other institutions
    • Expand avenues like research projects, Scholarships / Fellowships, Safety Prizes etc.

  7. Ongoing programs in Medical Colleges and Collaborative Centres

  8. Maternal and Neonatal Safety initiative


Indian Confederation for Healthcare Accreditation is a professionally owned and driven Not-for-Profit organisation incorporated as a Section 25 Company. The basic aim of ICHA is to strengthen our health system using modified accreditation as a tool. Addressing the complexities of healthcare system comprehensively requires a collaborative team effort by all stakeholders.

ICHA is the National multi-stakeholder Confederation of National Associations/ Institutions for establishing validated excellence in healthcare in India in line with similar bodies in all developed countries. ICHA comprises all stakeholder groups across the health sector, viz. Providers, Receivers and users, Payers and funders, Educators and regulators.

Currently, all the major National Associations/Institutions of Medical Sciences and practitioners (Clinical, Lab, Admin), Nursing, Pharmacy, Therapy, Consumers, Management and Architects are our subscribers. All the Associations/Institutions are well established and are recognized as apex bodies in their respective fields.

What we do?

ICHA logo depicts its mission of Patient Centred Healthcare. We seek to address Patient Safety concerns by placing patient safety at the top of all stakeholders’ agenda- be it the healthcare receiver, the provider and every stakeholder groups across the health sector. Patient Safety is the hallmark of excellence and our chosen path to achieve excellence.

Convention publication and presentation (2009)

Major strengths of ICHA: –

  1. Multi-stakeholder body comprising all stakeholders. Constituent National Associations / Institutions ensure high credibility.
  2. ICHA structure engenders opportunity for all to contribute, thus circumventing politicking and individualism, while achieving balanced outcomes.
  3. Nearly 700 Affiliates from all walks and all across the country. Most of these affiliates have very senior people who are the virtual advisory panel. This resource strength makes ICHA a “one-stop-destination” for all inputs needed for strengthening health systems in all its diverse aspects.
  4. The three core values Trust – Transparency – Transactions strengthen ICHA’s competitive capability
  5. Follow the key concepts of quality as non-threatening, educative process to help upgrade all
  6. Validating excellence achieved through peer review for credible and quality system
  7. ICHA is empanelled with DFID for Quality Assurance in Health Sector
  8. ICHA is a member of Credibility Alliance

ICHA Patient Safety Initiative – The Future Focus

  1. Patient Safety Education in educational institutions through professional councils and online programmes
  2. Best practices implementation in all areas
  3. Address India Centric concerns like Maternal and Neonatal Safety
  4. Partnerships with major public and private Healthcare systems
  5. Technology Innovations

Download Resources

ICHA Initiative on Pt Safety Presentation

Scientific Programme : ICHA Convention for patient safety

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