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World Patient Safety Day 2019: Significance And How Hospitals Ensure Patient Safety

The safety of patients is a major issue and every year millions die due to poor and unsafe quality healthcare. To assure that no patients are harmed while providing healthcare, the World Health Organization (WHO) adopted 17 September to celebrate 'World Patient Safety Day' annually with a commitment to make healthcare safer and promote patient safety at a global level. The theme for this year is 'Patient Safety: A Global Health Priority' and the slogan of the day is 'Speak up for patient safety'.

The day will bring all the families, patients, caregivers, health workers, and communities together to be a part of patient-safe healthcare. According to WHO, out of every 10 patients, 4 are harmed in care settings contributing to around 2.6 million deaths in a year. Also, 134 million adverse events are recorded every year due to unsafe care at hospitals in medium and poor income countries.

The day was adopted to reduce such global healthcare issues and around 194 countries who are members of WHO, endorse the establishment. This will help in getting universal health coverage for patients around the world.

Significance Of World Patient Safety Day

The World Patient Safety Day is celebrated to raise awareness of the safety of patients globally,

enhance the understanding of why patient safety plays an important role in achieving sustainable development goals and universal health coverage, encourage governmental bodies to support the strategy and ensure patients safety, encourage the advancement of the healthcare industry to minimize the risk of patients harm and highlight training and education in patient safety.

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Why Is Patient Safety Important?

Safety of patients is a global health concern. It is important because unsafe patient care can result in adverse events causing the death of the patient. Recent evidence shows that patients usually suffered an impairment or death due to error in diagnosing the actual medical condition of the patient and prescribed medications.

The condition also impacts the financial budget as billions are spent in coping with the wrongful medical assistance. Also, the healthcare industries should understand that the cost of implementing safety measures for patients is less in comparison to their treatment.

Safety Measures Taken By Hospitals To Ensure Patient Safety

Medical errors can cause serious consequences and thus, leading hospitals take necessary steps to ensure their safety. The steps are as follows:

  • Washing hands, cleaning the skin and using full barrier precautions to prevent infections associated with bloodstream.
  • Assigning a medical staff to follow up with patients for timely medications and appointment if needed.
  • Educating patients before releasing them after treatment to ensure that they understand how their medicines work and when not to take them.
  • Limiting the shift of medical experts to ensure they get proper rest so that the chance of mistakes while operating patients reduces.
  • Sharing patient's safety information with Patient Safety Organization to avoid errors and mistakes while treating them.
  • Ensuring that hospital staffs are well acquainted with the patient safety cultures.
  • Ensuring the cleanliness of the hospital to avoid the spread of the infections.
  • Building a rapid response system to ensure effective communication and rapid response in case of emergencies.

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6 International Patient Safety Goals Declared By WHO

The six important patient safety goals are as follows:

  • To identify patients correctly
  • To enhance communication between patients and medical experts
  • To improve the safety of high-alert medicines
  • Ensure that every patient is given a correct diagnosis, correct medicines, and correct surgery
  • To reduce the risk of infections caused by the healthcare premises
  • To prevent the risk of patients harm due to fall
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