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Despite the importance of reporting systems to learn about the casual chain and consequences of patient safety incidents, this is an area that requires of further conceptual and technical developments to conduce reporting to effective learning. The World Health Organization, through its Patient Safety Programme, adopted as a priority the objective to facilitate and stimulate global learning through enhanced reporting of patient safety incidents. Landmark developments were the WHO Draft Guidelines for Adverse Event Reporting and Learning Systems, and the Conceptual Framework for the International Classification for Patient Safety, as well as the Global Community of Practice for Reporting and Learning Systems. WHO is currently working with a range of scientists, medical informatics specialists and healthcare officials from various countries around the world, to arrive at a Minimal Information Model that could serve as a basis to structure the core of reporting systems in a comparable manner across the world. Undoubtedly, there is much need for additional scientific developments in this challenging and innovative area. For effective reporting systems and enhanced global learning, other key contextual factors are essential for reporting to serve to the needs of clinicians, patients and the healthcare system at large. Moreover, the new data challenges and needs of organizations must be assessed as the era of big data comes to heath care. These considerations delineate a broad agenda for action, which offer an ambitious challenge for WHO and their partners interested in strengthening learning for improving through reporting and communicating about patient safety incidents.
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