The safety of our patients during their stay in our hospitals takes top priority. This is why we rely on consistent hygiene and incident management, on checklists in surgery and on the wearing of patient identification bracelets.

We rely on various Group-wide measures to ensure the safety of our patients:

Consistent hygiene management, particularly in hospital departments where there is an increased risk of infection, such as in intensive care. We ensure infection monitoring using two different methods (KISS and SwissNoso).

Incident management: To reduce mistakes and promote an open and proactive learning culture, we use the reporting platform «The Patient Safety Company» (TPSC) to systematically record and analyse incidents in which patients have almost or actually come to harm.

Safe Surgery checklist: Based on the recommendations of the WHO and the Swiss Patient Safety Foundation, we use the Safe Surgery checklist.

Key figures: By compiling various internal and external key figures, we continuously assess our outcome quality. To do this, we regularly test ourselves against various benchmarks at a national and international level (e.g. ANQ, Swissnoso, IQIP, QHI, medical registers).

Patient identification bracelet: The patient identification bracelet contributes to patient safety. The key element is active patient identification. The patient's identity is checked over and over again during all stages of treatment (e.g. laboratory and X-ray examinations, administering medication, operations).

Incident management

Incidents and near incidents affect the life of patients, their relatives and dependants as well as our employees and organisations. Incidents and near incidents are systematically recorded and analysed to ensure seamless patient care in the Hirslanden Group.

Near incidents have been collected and analysed in all Hirslanden hospitals in what is called a CIRS (Critical Incident Reporting System) system since 2008. Information from this system has enabled us to implement successful measures to improve patient safety. In 2021, the CIRS system was replaced by a comprehensive incident management system called The Patient Safety Company (TPSC) reporting platform so that we also have the capacity to record incidents systematically.

With the introduction of the TPSC reporting platform, Hirslanden is able to continuously and comprehensively log and systematically process incidents in which patients were nearly or actually harmed. The new incident management system enables employees in any job to report incidents or near incidents using an online form.

An effective safety culture is a task shared by all employees and doctors. Therefore, we must treat each other with respect so that untoward incidents can be reported by anyone, whatever their place in the hierarchy. At the same time as recording and systematically analysing data on the nature, extent and concomitant circumstances of predominantly serious incidents, we also use the reporting platform as a learning tool that generates knowledge and creates transparency. This really helps us to improve patient safety.

Every event that is reported is classified according to its nature. This indicates areas in particular need of corrective action. The table below shows the incidents and near incidents for the 2021* calendar year that have been closed. Most of the incidents and near incidents are to be found in the three areas of falls, medication/biologicals/liquids and documentation.

Incident management (data for 2023)

Incident management (data for 2023) 
Perinatal incident1
Medical gases/oxygen8
Patients’ rights8
Peripheral infusion incident10
Personal property/data/information20
Blood/plasma products38
Handling hazardous substances42
Infection prevention and control44
Inappropriate/aggressive behaviour54
Skin lesions109
Perioperative incident152
Administrative processes204
Pressure ulcers210
Diagnostic/therapeutic process375
Medical products/equipment/consumables480

Safe surgery

To improve patient safety in surgery, we apply the Safe Surgery Saves Lives concept within the Hirslanden Group and ensure the necessary accompanying measures are implemented. The concept includes, among other things, the use of the Safe Surgery checklist from the Swiss Patient Safety Foundation.

The Hirslanden Group has been applying the «Safe Surgery Saves Lives» concept to improve patient safety in surgery and prevent serious incidents since 2009. The Safe Surgery checklist forms part of the concept. It was published by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2009, adapted for Switzerland by the Swiss Patient Safety Foundation in 2012 and spread across Switzerland as part of the «progress! Safe surgery» (2013-2015) programme. It was declared the industry standard with the Safe Surgery Charter.

With the Safe Surgery checklist, we ensure, among other things, that patient misidentification can be prevented, preoperative examinations (e.g. laboratory, ECG, X-ray) are available, the intervention takes place on the correct side of the body and the right instruments and right implant are present during the surgery. The observance of the Safe Surgery checklist in our hospitals is verified each year by unannounced visits by members of the Quality Management.

"Safe Surgery" training film by the Swiss Patient Safety Foundation