Patient safety

As a client of the healthcare service, you have a key role in promoting patient safety in your place of treatment. Be involved in your treatment, express any concerns you have actively and ask about issues relating to your treatment.


As a client of the healthcare service, you have a key role in promoting patient safety in your place of treatment. Be involved in your treatment, express any concerns you have actively and ask about issues relating to your treatment.

Healthcare staff are responsible for patient safety, but as a client you and your family have a key role in promoting patient safety in your place of treatment.

Patient safety constitutes

  • Treatment that does not endanger you because of an error or a lapse of memory
  • Principles, practices and sound processes of the healthcare unit by means of which risks and dangerous situations are predicted and prevented
  • Prevention of human error (over half of treatment injuries can be prevented)
  • Learning together without blaming anyone
  • A common cause, for you as a patient and every healthcare professional treating you.

If you believe that a near miss situation or incident has occurred in your place of treatment, bring the matter up with a nurse or a doctor. Clarifying the matter quickly will eliminate misunderstandings.

Patient safety involves the safety of treatment, the safety of medication and the safety of medical equipment. Every healthcare unit must have a system through which it reports and follows-up incidents occurring in treatment. The unit must also draw up a patient safety plan under which the persons in charge are agreed on together with a method whereby the unit´s management bears responsibility for the requirements and resources to provide high-quality health services that are safe for patients.

Patient and client safety strategy 2017–2021

The patient safety strategy has been revised into a patient and client safety strategy (in finnish). Updated by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, the strategy will help to develop the Finnish healthcare and social welfare towards a cohesive safety culture. The first Finnish Patient Safety Strategy was prepared for the years 2009–2013.

The new strategy serves healthcare and social welfare organisers and providers, personnel, patients, clients and their family members in the implementation of safe and effective care. Patient and client safety is part of the public service promise.

  • Promoting patient and client safety and quality is part of the responsibility to organise healthcare and social welfare services.
  • Securing patient and client safety in practice is part of the responsibility of service providers.
  • Even though healthcare and social welfare personnel are professional and committed and their activities are regulated, patient safety incidents can only be avoided with comprehensive quality and safety management. Prevention of incidents that cause human suffering also reduces costs.
  • The patients and clients themselves and their families promote patient and client safety actively. Everyone can influence, make choices and take responsibility for patient and client safety.

Users of health services should bear in mind that Finnish patient insurance does not cover treatment provided abroad. Therefore, you cannot receive compensation from Finland for a treatment injury that has been caused by treatment provided abroad. In case of treatment provided in another country, the legislation on patient safety and injuries in the country in question applies.