​​​​​​  SACCIA 

Safe Communication


The SACCIA® Academy is based in Switzerland. It constitutes the first pedagogical institution worldwide that exclusively teaches safe interpersonal communication skills as a core competency for safer, higher quality care. The academy utilizes an innovative educational approach that unites direct practical application with modern teaching methods. Its instructional contents are evidence-based, grounded in empirical science, and always updated based on applied interdisciplinary research that merges communication science with current topics in patient safety. With that, the SACCIA® Academy offers a cutting-edge program that unites the leading heads of communication science and patient safety to provide a one-of-its-kind qualified education in safe communication. The academy’s objective is to strengthen the resilience and safety cultures of healthcare institutions worldwide by improving safety-compromising interpersonal care processes. In other words: The SACCIA® Academy prioritizes safe communication as a core pathway to patient safety, addressing the core challenges of contemporary clinical practice. 

“Safe Communication” as a Core Competency for Patient Safety

The SACCIA® Academy instructs concrete interpersonal communication competencies that are evidence-based in scientific analyses of the processes that frequently lead to preventable healthcare-induced patient harm. The training is framed within the basic tenets of human communication science. With that, it replaces common safety-compromising “myths” of human communication with evidence-based “truths” of what safe communication “looks like” in diverse healthcare settings.

Better Communication for Better Prevention

At least 80% of preventable healthcare-induced patient harm is caused by deficient interpersonal communication among clinicians and with patients. The SACCIA® Academy builds organizational and individual resilience by training safe communication skills to all care participants. Grounded in direct empirical evidence, the training addresses exactly those deficient interpersonal care processes that frequently cause preventable patient harm. The academy also trains safe critical incident reporting skills as a prerequisite for a measurable safety improvements.

Better Communication for Better Intervention

In everyday practice, clinicians, patients and care companions frequently notice adverse events “in-the-making.” However, they commonly fail to intervene. The SACCIA® Academy trains safe communication to equip all care participants with the skills for a timely detection and effective intervention with preventable patient safety events.

Better Communication for Better Response

The SACCIA® Academy educates care participants with safe communication skills for 100% of all adverse and sentinel events that require effective and appropriate response and disclosure. Academy attendees will learn how to respond to preventable adverse events effectively and appropriately through safe communication that mitigates patient harm and prevents further negative consequences of adverse events.   

Focal Areas: Where Can SACCIA Safe Communication Improve Patient Safety?

1. Diagnostic errors

Poor information coordination among care participants and with patients/care companions frequently causes misdiagnoses and delayed diagnoses.

2. Medication errors

Insufficient shared understanding between care participants frequently leads to misuse, overuse, and unindicated use of medications. Safe communication is also the pathway to intervening with errors related to sound-alike and look-alike medications.

3. Handoffs / Care transitions

An endemic lack of successful information exchange and contextualization commonly contributes to care inconsistencies, which result in unindicated and inaccurate treatment and unsafe post-treatment care.

4. Digitization of care

Digital technologies claim to resolve communication problems. However, they merely store information. Currently, they do not provide active support for safe interpersonal sense-making processes. From a communication science perspective, digitization can cause more and particular kinds of patient safety events because they reduce direct interpersonal contact. The SACCIA Academy trains safe communication skills in the context of digitized care and teaches how existing digital tools can be used in ways that support the accomplishment of a shared understanding as a prequisite for safe patient care. 

I would like to be educated in SACCIA Safe Communication -- where do I start?

In 2018, the SACCIA® Academy will conduct a series of introductory 2-day courses across Germany, Switzerland and Austria. In 2019, these introductory seminars are continued in form of a qualified education. That qualified education will lead to a certificate for individual clinicians ("SACCIA® Safe Communication Clinician"), risk managers and communication trainers ("SACCIA® Safe Communication Trainer"), and healthcare institutions ("SACCIA® Safe Communication Institution"). Sign up now for one of the introductory "SACCIA on tour" courses to modernize your professional identity with an education that will keep you safe in your future healthcare encounters and convey to your patients and colleagues that they are performing and receiving care in a safe communication culture.  

Safe Implementation for Safer Practice

Upon conclusion of their training, all graduates receive a “SACCIA® Academy Discharge Kit”, which supports a successful implementation of the learned safe communication skills into everyday practice. As an extension, the SACCIA® Academy recommends and provides practical tools that further support practice improvements in both digital and non-digital ways.