World Patient Safety Day -2020

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IMAlive, Posted on September 17th, 2020

World Patient Safety Day

Author: Dr. Sribiju, Govt.Hospital of Dermatology, Chevayur, Calicut

On 17 September 2020, the World Health Organization, international partners and all countries will commemorate World Patient Safety Day. The objective of World Patient Safety Day 2020 campaign is to raise global awareness about the importance of addressing health worker safety as a prerequisite to patient safety.

Patient Safety is a health care discipline that emerged with the evolving complexity in health care systems and the resulting rise of patient harm in health care facilities. It aims to prevent and reduce risks, errors and harm that occur to patients during provision of health care. A cornerstone of the discipline is continuous improvement based on learning from errors and adverse events

The COVID-19 pandemic has unveiled the huge challenges and risks that the health workers are facing globally including health care associated infections, violence, stigma, psychological and emotional disturbances, illness and even death. Furthermore, working in stressful environments makes health workers more prone to errors which can lead to patient harm.

Therefore, the World Patient Safety Day 2020 theme is ‘Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety’ and the slogan is ‘Safe health workers, Safe patients’. The call for action is ‘Speak up for health worker safety!’.

Recognizing patient safety as a global health priority, all 194 WHO Member States at the 72ndWorld Health Assembly, in May 2019, endorsed the establishment of World Patient Safety Day (Resolution WHA72.6), to be marked annually on 17 September. The objectives of World Patient Safety Day are to increase public awareness and engagement, enhance global understanding, and spur global solidarity and action to promote patient safety134 million.

         Adverse events occur each year due to unsafe care in hospitals in low- and middle-income countries, contributing to 2.6 million deaths annually. 15%of hospital expenses can be attributed to treating patient safety failures in OECD countries. 4 out of 10patients are harmed in the primary and ambulatory settings of which up to 80% of harm in these settings can be avoided.

The occurrence of adverse events due to unsafe care is likely one of the 10 leading causes of death and disability in the world.

  1. In high-income countries, it is estimated that one in every 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care.
  2.  The harm can be caused by a range of adverse events, with nearly 50% of them being preventable.
  3. Each year, 134 million adverse events occur in hospitals in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs), due to unsafe care, resulting in 2.6 million deaths.
  4. Another study has estimated that around two-thirds of all adverse events resulting from unsafe care, and the years lost to disability and death (known as disability adjusted life years, or DALYs) occur in LMICs.
  5. Globally, as many as 4 in 10 patients are harmed in primary and outpatient health care. Up to 80% of harm is preventable. The most detrimental errors are related to diagnosis, prescription and the use of medicines.
  6. In OECD countries, 15% of total hospital activity and expenditure is a direct result of adverse events.
  7. Investments in reducing patient harm can lead to significant financial savings, and more importantly better patient outcomes.
  8. An example of prevention is engaging patients, if done well, it can reduce the burden of harm by up to 15%.

To ensure successful implementation of patient safety strategies; clear policies, leadership capacity, data to drive safety improvements, skilled health care professionals and effective involvement of patients in their care, are all needed.Patient safety is fundamental to delivering quality essential health services. Indeed, there is a clear consensus that quality health services across the world should be effective, safe and people-centred. In addition, to realize the benefits of quality health care, health services must be timely, equitable, integrated and efficient

Medication errors are a leading cause of injury and avoidable harm in health care systems: globally, the cost associated with medication errors has been estimated at US$ 42 billion annually. Health care-associated infections occur in 7 and 10 out of every 100 hospitalized patients in high-income countries and low- and middle-income countries respectively.

Unsafe surgical care procedures cause complications in up to 25% of patients. Almost 7 million surgical patients suffer significant complications annually, 1 million of whom die during or immediately following surgery.

Safety of patients during the provision of health services that are safe and of high quality is a prerequisite for strengthening health care systems and making progress towards effective universal health coverage (UHC) under Sustainable Development Goal 3 (Ensure healthy lives and promote health and well-being for all at all ages).

World Patient Safety Day are to increase public awareness and engagement, enhance global understanding, and spur global solidarity and action to promote patient safety.

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