The Danish Health and Medicines Authority (DHMA) has received an external report from the European Partnership of Supervising Organisations in Health Care and Social Services (EPSO) about the DHMA's supervision of healthcare professionals. The Danish Ministry of Health asked EPSO to make the report following criticism about the healthcare supervision of the DHMA brought forward by the media in 2013. The EPSO report identifies several problems and provides indications for improvement of the DHMA's supervision of healthcare professionals.
– We take EPSO's criticism very seriously and we will now start working on a plan for how to improve the communication and procedures of our supervision as suggested in the report. It is crucial for us that the supervision of individual healthcare professionals is timely and of a high quality, says Else Smith, Director General, Danish Health and Medicines Authority.
The Danish Ministry of Health has asked the DHMA to prepare an action plan with a view to bringing the supervisory function to a high international level. The purpose of the action plan is to create more simple and clearly defined procedures and to ensure that there are no barriers to or delays in the information supervised by the DHMA. One element of the action plan will be a modernisation of the DHMA's regional offices.
In the report, EPSO provides 57 recommendations for how the DHMA can improve the present supervision, which is considered to be performing well, but not best practice. The recommendations of the report are in the areas of internal and external communication, prioritisation and risk assessment, reporting of information on risk behaviours, communication of the framework for the DHMA's individual supervision, quality management and professional independence.
In the report, EPSO reviews 35 supervisory cases and finds that the procedures are strictly observed.
– It is vital to us that the individual supervision is of a high professional standard, so that the patients can trust that we supervise the quality of doctors' treatments – and this is documented in the report, says Else Smith.
The Danish Ministry of Health wants the DHMA action plan to include a modernisation of the DHMA regional offices with a view to creating a foundation for an enhanced supervisory function for the benefit of patient safety.
In continuation of the report's recommendations for more focused communication, internal as well as external, the DHMA will describe the tasks to be solved by the DHMA and the tasks to be solved by others. The sanctions and reactions available to the DHMA should be very clear to the Danes.
As part of the action plan, the Danish Ministry of Health has asked the DHMA to include quality assurance of the DHMA's assessment in individual case supervision by an external, national part with administrative procedural competencies.