Dutch patient safety programme (English)

VMSzorg is a platform for patient safety in Dutch hospitals. The website shares knowledge and information on the safety management system and ten healthcare-related themes. It is a platform intended for the hospitals which participated in the safety program. These hospitals possess a great deal of knowledge and information.

The website takes a practical approach: visitors can access information, tools, real-world examples and visual aids for use at the organizations in which they work.

‘The Dutch patient safety programme’

Learn all about the patient safety programme in the film ‘The Dutch patient safety programme’

The basic requirements for safety management

The safety management system (SMS, or VMS in Dutch) embeds patient safety in healthcare practice. It is the system through which hospitals continuously identify risks, implement improvements, and establish, evaluate and modify policy.

The basic requirements for an SMS are set out in the Netherlands Technical Agreement 8009, “Safety management system for hospitals and organizations which administer hospital care” (NTA 8009). For hospitals, this NTA is a steppingstone towards establishing an SMS in their organizations, as the NTA provides an overview of the matters which must be addressed. The NTA 8009:2011 also forms the basis for external review of hospitals’ patient safety policies.

Ten safety themes

Our research into patient safety research has led us to identify ten themes which can support the reduction of unintended, preventable harm in hospitals. Each theme is translated into a target objective, and comes with with practical guides that visitors can download. In the practical guides, visitors will find useful measures which have been formulated by expert teams; these measures are based on available literature, existing guidelines and national and international “good practices”.

Practical examples demonstrate how hospitals have implemented an SMS or a theme, what the bottlenecks were, and how the hospitals succeeded in their implementation. The tools have been developed by both the SMS Safety Program as well as by other healthcare parties, and are intended to aid efforts in patient safety.

Education & training

The education & training section addresses the implementation of patient safety in healthcare education. Six competences have been developed which students in healthcare courses and hospital employees must have if they are to work in a way that is patient-conscious and patient-safe. Practical examples have been gathered from curricula in various institutions.

Patient participation

The patient participation section addresses the role patients play in their own treatment. A Patient Guide has been developed for this purpose. The Patient Guide informs patients about what they can do receive safe and quality care.



Watch the animation ‘Meneer Berghuis maakt zich zorg, van blamen en shamen naar veilige zorg’ about Patient safety with English voice over.

Datum laatste update:
13 juli 2021
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