National pilot programmes progress!

Mistakes can happen even to highly trained and motivated professionals.


Serious events such as mistaken sides or procedures, forgotten foreign bodies during operations or even medication errors are taboo - but they happen even in the best healthcare systems. Switzerland is no exception: here, too, there are adverse events during surgical interventions or medication errors. A large proportion of these are considered preventable. In order to empower healthcare organisations to achieve systemic change, the Foundation for Patient Safety relies on model projects. These projects are characterised by a high degree of innovation. To protect patients, significant systemic safety deficits are to be improved through a methodical, scientifically based and practice-oriented approach.



Since 2012, Patient Safety Switzerland has been developing and managing national model programs with the aim of improving patient safety in the healthcare system. These programs are part of the Quality Strategy of the Confederation in the Swiss Healthcare System and are significantly financed by the FOPH. The following progress! programs have been carried out so far:

  • Safe medication in nursing homes
  • Com-Check – Safe Surgery
  • Safety in catheterization
  • Safe medication at interfaces
  • Safe Surgery

The health system-oriented programs test the widest possible use of evidence-based interventions in important areas of patient safety or develop new approaches. Progress! Programs, thus, initiate tailor-made improvement measures. All of them have a model character. The programs are accompanied by an awareness-raising campaign, specifically adapted to Swiss conditions, and include implementation elements, evaluation surveys and monitoring.

Organisation of the national pilot programmes

The steering comitee is responsible for the ongoing progress! programs. It meets twice a year.

Members of the steering comitee :

  • President of the Swiss Patient Safety Foundation
  • Director of the Swiss Patient Safety Foundation
  • Services Section of the Health and Accident Insurance Directorate, FOPH
  • Quality and Processes Section, FOPH
  • Head of the Communicable Diseases Division of the Public Health Directorate, FOPH



Criteria for national pilot programs

The pilot programs should:

  • have a model character for future programs (pilot)
  • have the greatest possible effect (sensitization, impact)
  • contribute to the development of know-how in Switzerland and to learning from it for the future
  • be realistic for Switzerland and its circumstances
  • be accepted by health organizations and professionals and meet a need
  • include elements of implementation as well as evaluation surveys and monitoring
  • be scientifically investigated with regard to specific questions in order to obtain a basis for further development.