Ongoing Research Projects

Interreg project SafePAT

SafePAT is a V-A Euregion Meuse-Rhine project. For more information about the project please check 

SafePAT project: patient safety in cross-border care

The SafePAT project aims to improve patient safety in international collaboration between hospitals and ambulance services in the Euregion Meuse-Rhine (EMR). A recent SafePAT study shows that around 30% of surveyed doctors, (ambulance) nurses and administrative staff was involved in international patient handover or transfer in the border regions. Respondents identify several factors that complicate international collaboration, among which language, cultural differences, differences in healthcare organization and structure of insurances, and differences in educational level and responsibilities. These factors could put patient safety at risk.

Maastricht University currently works on the development of a training for healthcare professionals. This training will address some of the abovementioned factors that seem to hamper the existing collaborations. The aim of the training is to optimize international collaboration and to improve patient safety in the EMR in the long run. For more information about the project we refer to the official website

The Interreg V-A Euregion Meuse-Rhine (EMR) program invests up to 100 million euros in the development of this Interreg-area until 2020. The area reaches from Leuven in the West to the borders of Köln in the East, and from Eindhoven in the North up to the borders of Luxembourg in the South. More than 5.5 million people live in this cross-border region, where the best of three countries comes together in a real European society. With the investment of EU-funding in the Interreg-projects of regional project partners, the EU directly invests in the economic development, innovation, territorial development and social inclusion and education in this area.

The SafePAT project is carried out with support of the European Fund of Regional Development of the European Union. The involved provinces of Limburg (NL), Limburg (BE), Région Wallonne (BE), and Ministerium für Wirtschaft, Innovation, Digitalisierung und Energie des Landes Nordrhein-Westfalen (DE), support the project. Besides, the projectpartners Maastricht University, UHasselt, OUNL Heerlen, CHR de la Citadelle, Ziekenhuis Oost-Limburg, and Uniklinik RWTH Aachen together invest their share in the SafePAT project.

Contact person: UM, School of Health Professions Education / Faculty of Health, University of Maastricht, Netherlands

Daniëlle Verstegen, PhD
Project Contributer UM
T + 31 43 38 85 749


Interreg project COMPAS


COMPAS stands for "COmprehensive Multiprofessional Education for improving, distributing and implementing Patient Safety and maintenance of workforce in the EMR".

This project is part of the EU-funded INTERREG Euregio Meuse-Rhine (EMR) program and is co-funded by regional authorities from the three EMR countries Belgium, the Netherlands and Germany.

“To err is human, to learn from it, divine” (adapted from Alexander Pope). Patient safety is an important and growing concern. Overall, the available evidence suggests that at least 15% of hospital expenditures and activities can be attributed to treating safety failures. Patient safety risks are largely due to human factors, communication and miscommunications in teamwork. Despite extensive expertise, knowledge and skills of healthcare professionals, one in ten hospitalized patients will experience an adverse event, half of which are considered preventable. Despite progress, the impact of current improvement strategies is disappointing, underscoring the need for a framework that embraces patient safety in a holistic approach. Maintaining healthcare personnel in the Euregio Meuse-Rhine and promoting resilience is a highly relevant goal that must be accomplished and should not be limited to crisis situations.

Various factors contribute to the occurrence of patient safety incidents; in addition to active failures (human error), communication and safety culture are emphasized as significant causal factors. Aside, providers are insufficiently trained to deal with changes and healthcare innovations and certainly not trained in the innovation of care processes and systems. This leaves us with a system lacking resilience and agility, making it outpaced continuously by technological innovations and other external impulses.

The COMPAS project will address the need for organizational capacity building by developing a comprehensive educational approach. Working closely with healthcare professionals and educational innovators, we will create a blueprint for educational programs – micro and macro degrees – at the intersection of healthcare delivery, patient safety, and innovation. By enabling collaboration between universities and colleges in the EMR, we will be able to offer programs to educate at different levels.


  • Developing comprehensive multiprofessional education and training tools on patient safety
  • Implementing and distributing comprehensive multiprofessional education in the EMR
  • Maintenance of workforce and resilience

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