Providing top-class healthcare to the patients is just half the task done. Doing so in a safe and hazard-free manner is what makes quality healthcare truly successful. According to the World Health Organization, a shocking 4 out of 10 patients face harm in ambulatory and primary settings worldwide. In addition to this, around 134 million adverse incidents happen across the world leading to almost 2.6 million deaths. These incidents can be avoided with stringent safety measures and wider public awareness.
To create awareness of patient safety, the World Health Organization has marked 17th September as World Patient Safety Day. This global campaign focuses on practicing “medication without harm” and further aims to encourage people and medical staff around the world to take proactive measures to make healthcare practices safer.
“Engaging Patients for Patients Safety” has been chosen as the theme of World Patient Safety Day 2023 and this global campaign looks to involve all the stakeholders to prioritize and take early action in eliminating risky medical practices through active participation of the patients. Due to the onset of the recent global pandemic, this year’s World Patient Safety Day will have a special emphasis on COVID-19 and its repercussions that disrupted medical services across the world. Patient-centric healthcare is one of the foremost objectives of WHO’s goal of achieving universal health coverage which is why, this year, we will see several landmark activities and events conducted worldwide.
Understanding Patient Safety
For a patient to be truly safe, all possible elements enhancing the risk of injury or further harm during healthcare must be at the ‘acceptable minimum levels’. The acceptable minimum level here refers to the condition where factors like the treatment given, knowledge of medication and resources available outweigh the risk of non-treatment or other forms of treatment. It is a widely known fact that there are some inherent risks in every form of treatment and whether it is a primary health care center or a multi super speciality hospital, every treatment comes with certain conditions and complications. The overall goal of World Patient Safety Day is to cut down this risk factor by a certain degree.
Significance of World Patient Safety Day
As per WHO, investing in safety policies and standardizing policies in this direction can significantly reduce expenses in healthcare. In addition to this, the outcomes of the treatment will also be much better by a whopping 15%. The aim of such events by WHO is to create overall awareness in this direction and enhance global cooperation and solidarity in the movement for patient safety. Advancement of healthcare systems around the world is heavily reliant on creating patient safety awareness and to ensure this, WHO has issued the following patient safety goals.
Goal 1 – Identify patients correctly
Goal 2 – Improve effective communication
Goal 3 – Improve the safety of high-alert medications
Goal 4 – Ensure correct site, correct procedure, correct patient surgery
Goal 5 – Cutting down possibilities of healthcare-associated infections
Goal 6 – Minimizing the risk of patient harm resulting from fall
WHO has planned a series of large-scale events to mark this World Patient Safety Day. Medical safety webinars, the launch of several healthcare safety products, and technical solutions for patient safety are some of the key agenda items for 17th September 2023. A global virtual event has also been scheduled to promote awareness of this global cause. Over 190 countries’ representatives have been invited to participate in the global event where the invitees will take a pledge to implement the objectives of the World Global Patient Safety Challenge. The member countries will also pledge to promote the objectives of World Patient Safety Day 2023, which are:
- Creating global awareness of the consequences of medication-related harm caused by medication errors and risky procedures.
- Involve key stakeholders and member countries in the mission of preventing medication errors and reducing healthcare-related harms.
- Educating and empowering the patients and their families in safe medication
- Promote the goals of the WHO goals of Global Patient Safety Challenge.