The second part of the Handbook with Standard Operating Procedures in Primary Health Care for Community Nursing was presented and distributed to directors and head nurses of the primary healthcare centers in the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Sarajevo on 10 December 2019.

Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) are written instructions for nurses that describe in detail how certain tasks are to be performed. Thanks to them, the possibility of error is reduced, work efficiency is increased, while equal quality and safety of services provided by nurses are ensured.

Two years ago, during Phase 1 of the Strengthening Nursing in Bosnia and Herzegovina project, the first part of the handbook with SOPs for the primary healthcare level was developed and made available to nurses in all primary health care centers (PHCC) in FBIH. This year, the second part of the handbook focused on community nursing, was developed, presented and distributed. It will facilitate and improve the complex and demanding work of community nurses who play a critical role in health care provision in patients’ homes and in the community. The second part will, as well as the first one, also be used as educational material at nursing faculties. Both handbooks were developed by the working group (WG) consisted of nurses, appointed by the Federal Ministry of Health.

More than 130 participants attended the presentation event, including directors, head nurses and community nurses from PHCCs in FBIH, as well as representatives of the FBiH Nursing Association, FBiH Agency for Quality and Accreditation in Healthcare (AKAZ), nursing faculties, and guest from the District of Brcko and the Republika Srpska.

The members of the working group presented the structure of the handbook, the development process and the method of its application. The representatives of the Federal Ministry of Health in their addressing of the audience underlined the importance of the handbook as an instrument for systematic improvement of services. The representative of the Embassy of Switzerland in Bosnia and Herzegovina stressed that the handbook will help ensure good quality care provided by nurses in patients’ homes and the community. One of the WG members emphasized that the SOPs will enable nurses to provide community based services in a standardized, unified and safe manner, both for the patients and the nurses, and will contribute to development of contemporary nursing profession. The Fami Foundation Director explained that activities aimed at standardization of nursing services are ongoing and running parallel in both entities and will also cover the secondary health care level.

A part of the SOPs have already been included in the AKAZ’s safety and quality standards for PHCC and this practice will continue with future revisions of the standards. The first and second part of the handbook is also available online at Fami Foudation web site as well as at AKAZ web site.

In the field of healthcare, standard operating procedures are one of the elementary tools to ensure quality and safe healthcare services for patients and realization of one of the basic human rights – the right to health. They also protect health professionals from making mistakes and significantly contribute to recognition of the work, role and importance of nurses, which they surely deserve.

Additional information

Handbook is available in eBook format (only BHS)
Handbook is available in PDF format (only BHS)