The general goal of BE-SAFE is to improve patient safety by addressing knowledge and practice gaps related to the reduction of benzodiazepine and sedative hypnotics (BSHs) used for sleep problems, paying particular attention to implementation aspects, to increase the chance of a large-scale impact at the European level. BSHs incur significant adverse effects and are a major threat to patient safety, especially in older adults. They are associated with an increased risk of falls, fractures, hospitalisations, impaired functioning, delirium, dementia and mortality.
Prescribing BSHs incurs significant costs for healthcare systems and societies. Hospital costs for fall injuries attributable to BSHs, extrapolated to the entire EU, reach € 1.8 billion yearly. BSH use is one of the three overuse practices that is measured by OECD.
The overall goal of BE-SAFE is to develop, test, implement and disseminate a harmonised and standardised patientcentred approach, accounting for European diversity, to improve patient safety by reducing use of Benzodiazepine and sedative hypnotics (BSHs) for sleep problems, one of the most frequently prescribed classes of harmful medication14 and of the three overuse practices measured by OECD,5 but challenging to reduce BSHs incur significant adverse effects and costs, especially in older adults.
Addressing BSH overuse in older adults is therefore an urgent priority to improve patient safety in Europe. However, previous attempts did not lead to large-scale reduction in use.
The goal of BE-SAFE is to improve patient safety by addressing knowledge and practice gaps related to the reduction of BSHs used for sleep difficulties in Europe.