Medical interventions are designed to treat and heal, but when the focus on patient safety wavers, the very act of seeking care can pose risks. World Patient Safety Day, observed annually on 17th September, brings to the forefront the paramount importance of ensuring the safety of patients in healthcare settings around the globe.
- Theme: Each year, World Patient Safety Day has a specific theme to focus on. For example, in 2020, the theme was “Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety.”
- Global Involvement: Over 194 countries commit to recognizing this day and the principles of patient safety set out by the WHO.
- Scope: Patient safety encompasses a broad range of areas, from surgical safety to medication safety to diagnostic accuracy.
- Patient Engagement: Patients play a critical role in their safety. Encouraging patients to be active participants in their care can lead to better outcomes.
- Economic Impact: Improving patient safety can lead to significant economic savings, reducing the costs associated with complications and hospital readmissions.
Origins of World Patient Safety Day
The World Health Organization (WHO) officially launched World Patient Safety Day during the 72nd World Health Assembly in May 2019. The core objective is to raise global awareness about the need for patient safety and to advocate for urgent action to reduce patient harm in healthcare settings.
The Significance of World Patient Safety Day
Highlighting Global Challenges: Adverse events due to lack of safety in care are among the top 10 leading causes of death and disability globally. This day emphasizes the urgency of addressing these challenges.
Strengthening Systems: Patient safety requires a multi-faceted approach, from improving infrastructure and training to implementing rigorous checks and protocols.
Building Trust: A healthcare system that prioritizes patient safety fosters trust and confidence among its users.
Supporting Health Workers: Ensuring the safety of healthcare workers is crucial, as it directly impacts the safety of patients under their care.
How to Observe World Patient Safety Day
Education and Workshops: Host or participate in sessions that educate health professionals about best practices, innovations, and techniques that enhance patient safety.
Awareness Campaigns: Utilize media and public platforms to disseminate information about patient rights, safety measures, and the importance of communication in healthcare settings.
Engage Policymakers: Advocate for reforms, stricter regulations, and funding to ensure that healthcare settings prioritize and maintain safety standards.
Recognize and Reward: Spotlight and appreciate healthcare professionals and entities that demonstrate exceptional commitment to patient safety.
Share Stories: Encourage patients and professionals to share their experiences, both positive and negative, to foster a culture of learning and transparency.
Orange Illumination: As suggested by WHO, illuminate prominent monuments and buildings in orange, the color of patient safety, to raise awareness.
- The WHO estimates that 1 in 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care in high-income countries.
- It’s believed that at least 5 patients die every minute due to unsafe care worldwide.
- Patient safety incidents are among the top ten causes of death and disability in the world.
- Clean hands are among the most critical measures for patient safety. Proper hand hygiene can prevent a significant number of healthcare-associated infections.
- Medical errors, if considered a disease, would rank as the third leading cause of death in many countries, highlighting the importance of patient safety.
What is World Patient Safety Day?
World Patient Safety Day is an initiative launched by the World Health Organization (WHO) to raise global awareness about the importance of patient safety and encourage a commitment to making healthcare safer.
When is World Patient Safety Day observed?
It is observed on 17th September every year.
Why is it important?
Patient safety is a significant global public health concern. Errors in healthcare can lead to severe harm, long-term consequences, and even death. By focusing on patient safety, healthcare systems can reduce the incidence of avoidable harm.
How can healthcare facilities participate?
Healthcare providers can conduct workshops, training sessions, and awareness campaigns. They can also use this day to review their patient safety protocols and seek improvements.
What is the main objective of this day?
The primary aim is to prevent and reduce risks, errors, and harm that occur to patients during the provision of healthcare.