Chair of Simulation and Patient Safety
Chair of Simulation and Patient Safety


Generate, disseminate and transfer knowledge about patient safety, through the use of teaching simulation and innovation in all healthcare areas, for the improvement of clinical practice and comprehensive and advanced patient care.



Become a driver behind activities concerning the development of teaching, applied research, innovation and knowledge transfer, so as to promote new healthcare practices which are more efficient, more innovative and safer. 




The values that govern the Chair are:

>> Commitment to the citizen, as a patient, as an objective and reference of all healthcare activities

>> Collaboration and cooperation between the different actors: researchers, primary care health professionals, hospitals and public health centres, social entities, city councils, the Generalitat of Catalonia and with the University of Vic-Central University of Catalonia as a focal point from its Manresa campus.

>> The collective participation of the different actors in the definition of the objectives and the planning of the activities.

>> A strong foothold in the Bages, Osona and Central and Inner Catalan territories as a scenario for the development of the proceedings and open to collaborations with other Catalan, state and international groups.

>> Transferring research into patient simulation and safety programmes which stand out for their quality, efficiency and sustainability.

>> Professionalism as the driving force behind activities.

>> Ethics and integrity as the core of teaching and research.

>> Transparency in the management of the Chair and its activities.

>> Teaching quality and research, as the guiding principles of all the activities carried out by the Chair.



Patient safety is a dimension of the quality of healthcare which seeks to reduce and prevent the risks associated with medical treatment.


Its relevance arises from the ethical premise of “first, to do no harm” and, from the conviction that it is not acceptable for a patient to suffer any kind of injury or damage derived from the healthcare received, which is supposed to make them better and provide comfort and quality of life. Even though human error may occur, measures must be taken so that the causes that produce it are reduced systematically.


One of the most important aspects of patient safety is the prevention of adverse events in healthcare. Usually, when talking about an adverse event, there is a reference to the negative consequences of a medical treatment that, unintentionally, causes some harm to the patient. Often it results in more days of hospitalisation, more medication or new treatment, and consequently causes suffering to the patient, relatives and the health professionals who have looked after the patient, as well as significantly increasing the cost of the healthcare process.


Studies carried out so far show that the magnitude of the problems derived from safety issues is high. It is estimated that between 44,000 and 98,000 people die every year in the US because of safety problems attributable to healthcare.


In Spain, the ENEAS study (2006) showed that up to 9% of patients admitted to a hospital suffer from an adverse event related to healthcare. The use of medication is the main cause identified with 37% of the total of cases followed by infection related to healthcare (25%) and then by the application of techniques and procedures (25%). In primary care, a prevalence of adverse events of 19% was observed, 48% related to medication.


According to a study carried out within the context of Catalonia, it is estimated that 7.4% of patients admitted to hospitals undergo an adverse event and that almost 50% of these could have been prevented. Although most patients suffered a recoverable injury, 8.6% of events considered as preventable resulted in a permanent disability and 5.6% in death. Approximately 23% of adverse events were infections related to healthcare.


Adverse events are an important cause of healthcare expenditure. It has been estimated that they account for approximately 6.7% of the total healthcare expenditure of hospitals and, when looking at Spain, have an opportunity cost greater than 1,000 million euros per year. This means that, if they were eliminated, these resources could be allocation to other improvements concerning the quality of healthcare.


Supported by the Ministry of Health of the Generalitat of Catalonia and in line with the WHO’s strategy, in 2005, the Alliance for the Safety of Patients of Catalonia was developed to establish a network of interest groups (integrated by healthcare centres, Institutions, employers' organisations, scientific societies and professional associations in the health sector) who were involved in the fostering of safety. This was a strategic element to ensure the safety of healthcare received by the citizens of Catalonia by introducing the culture of safety in healthcare centres.

Simulation, as a teaching methodology, is based on different points of view regarding learning: experiential, constructivist and collaborative. It is fundamental to know something about them in order to understand and put into practice this new approach. Only in this way can we learn more about the optimisation of the learning cycle that is experienced with simulation.


Simulation techniques have shown to be effective for improving professional skills and for teamwork in many aspects of healthcare processes. There are many contributing factors and causes of mistakes in healthcare that can be looked at from the clinical simulation tool. These include both aspects concerning competences and skills to non-technical skills, such as communication, organisation and teamwork.


In this sense, and related to the field of teaching and training, it is important to value simulation as a learning tool that generates a space and situation that is most similar to reality, which incorporates audiovisual media, which, with the help of an expert professional, make it possible to practise, analyse and reflect on the skills training of Healthcare science professionals. Simulation can be considered as an element of learning based on one's own experience. On the other hand, the patient's safety is also a key point, as a training strategy aimed at reducing unnecessary risks in healthcare.


Finally, related to the field of Research and Innovation, the aspects related to research in patient safety must be valued, providing the scientific evidence that justifies the implementation of strategies and good practices in the field of patient safety and, on the other hand, valuing simulation as an element that makes it possible to carry out projects with zero risk.


In this same line, research into learning methods with simulation will be relevant, deepening through research programs that apply new technologies in the patient's field. Considering simulation as a driver of innovation, it can be used to test other ways of doing things so that they can become more effective and efficient.


Coordinator: PhD. Carlota Riera Claret

Campus Manresa

Universitat de Vic - Universitat Central de Catalunya

T. 93 877 41 79