What is the World Patient Safety Day?
On 17 September 2020, the World Health Organization, international partners and all countries will celebrate World Patient Safety Day. World Patient Safety Day was established by the 72nd World Health Assembly, in May 2019 to be marked annually on 17 September. World Patient Safety Day builds on a series of successful annual Global Ministerial Summits on Patient Safety, which started in London in 2016.
The overall objectives of World Patient Safety Day are to enhance global understanding of patient safety, increase public engagement in the safety of health care and promote global actions to enhance patient safety and reduce patient harm.
Patient safety remains one of the core indicators for estimating quality and level of health care services globally. According to the recent reports by Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), over 15% of total expenditures on hospital care in OECD countries have been allocated to treat preventable patient safety failures and surgical complications. As an example, by improving patient safety systematically from 2010, The United States was able to reduce approximately 28 billion USD of total health care spending resulting from developed patient safety monitoring systems as well as forceful patient safety culture.
In addition, patient safety is an issue for all countries that deliver health services, whether they are privately commissioned or funded by the government. Prescribing antibiotics without regard for the patient’s underlying condition and whether antibiotics will help the patient, or administering multiple drugs without attention to the potential for adverse drug reactions, all have the potential for harm and patient injury. Patients are not only harmed by the misuse of technology, they can also be harmed by poor communication between different health-care providers or delays in receiving treatment.
Patient safety is a broad subject incorporating the latest technology such as electronic prescribing and redesigning hospitals and services to washing hands correctly and being a team player. Many of the features of patient safety do not involve financial resources; rather, they involve commitment of individuals to practise safely.
COVID-19 pandemic and the patients’ safety
The COVID-19 pandemic is presently among the biggest challenges and threats to face the world and humanity, and health care is living its greatest crisis in patient safety ever. The pandemic has exerted unprecedented pressure on health systems worldwide. Health systems can only function with health workers, and a knowledgeable, skilled and motivated health workforce is critical for the provision of safe care to patients.