The simplest definition of patient safety is the prevention of errors and adverse effects to patients associated with health care. In the current scenario it is very important that each and every healthcare system must always be vigilant when it comes to the healthcare and safety of the patients. The global landscape of health care is changing as health systems operate in increasingly complex environments with greater use of new technologies, medicines and treatments. The new treatments, technologies and care models can have therapeutic potential, they can also pose novel threats to safe care. Patient safety is now being recognized as a large and growing global public health challenge. Global efforts to reduce the burden of patient harm have not achieved substantial change over the past 15 years despite pioneering work in some health care settings. Safety measures – even those implemented in high-income settings – have had limited or varying impact, and most have not been adapted for successful application in low- and middle-income countries. All Member States and partners are striving to achieve universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the benefits of increased access to health care have been undermined by service structures, cultures and/or behaviours that inadvertently harm patients and may lead to fatal consequences. Global action on patient safety will enable universal health coverage to be delivered while reassuring communities that they can trust their health care systems to keep them and their families safe. Policy-makers will want to assure that, in planning and resourcing their vision of universal health coverage, they are not presiding over flawed and wasteful models of care. It is estimated that 64 million disability-adjusted life years are lost every year because of unsafe care worldwide. This means that patient harm due to adverse events is one of the top 10 causes of death and disability in the world. Available evidence suggests that annually 134 million adverse events due to unsafe care occur in hospitals in low- and middle-income countries, contributing to 2.6 million deaths. Approximately two thirds of the global burden of adverse events resulting from unsafe care, including the disability-adjusted life years lost from them, occurs in low- and middle-income countries. Estimates indicate that in high-income countries, about 1 in 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care. Many medical practices and risks associated with health care are emerging as major challenges for patient safety and contribute significantly to the burden of harm due to unsafe care. For example: 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 prevalence in mixed patient populations of high-income countries is about 7.6% and about 10% in low- and middle-income countries, according to data from a number of countries. In addition, people with methicillin-resistant staphylococcus aureus are estimated to be 64% more likely to die than people with a non-resistant form of the infection. Resistant infections currently claim at least 50 000 lives each year across Europe and the United States of America; Unsafe surgical care procedures cause complications in up to 25% of patients; almost 7 million surgical patients annually suffer significant complications, 1 million of whom die during or immediately after surgery; Unsafe injections practices given in health care settings can transmit infections, including HIV and hepatitis B and C, and pose direct danger to patients and health care workers; they account for an estimated 9.2 million disability-adjusted life years lost per year worldwide; Diagnostic errors occur in about 5% of adults in ambulatory care settings, more than half of which have the potential to cause severe harm; most people will suffer a diagnostic error in their lifetime. The unsafe transfusion practices expose patients to the risk of adverse transfusion reactions and transmission of infections. Data on adverse transfusion reactions from a group of 21 countries show an average incidence of 8.7 serious reactions per 100 000 distributed blood components.A review of 30 years of published data on safety in radiotherapy estimates that the overall incidence of errors is 1500 per 1 million treatment courses. Sepsis is frequently not diagnosed early enough to save a patient’s life; as these infections are often resistant to antibiotics, they can rapidly lead to deteriorating clinical conditions, affecting an estimated 31 million people worldwide and causing over 5 million deaths per year. Venous thromboembolism, Unsafe care in mental health settings, Failures in primary care, Unsafe health care, Health care delivery systems etc are concerns also. The global need for quality of care and patient safety was first put to the World Health Assembly in 2002.
The foundations for health system resilience and a capacity to minimise harm are found in strong safety governance, a 21st century information infrastructure, and sufficient, appropriately skilled workforce. The analysis is clear: unsafe care kills millions, and harms tens of millions of people each year. It also exerts a great economic cost on health systems and society, consuming valuable resources that could be put to productive uses elsewhere.
Resolution Wha55.18, Entitled “Quality Of Care: Patient safety”, urged Member States to pay the closest possible attention to the problem of patient safety. Since 2002, improving patient safety has been mandated by successive regional committee resolutions and WHO has been instrumental in shaping the patient safety agenda worldwide, providing leadership, setting priorities, convening experts, fostering collaboration, creating networks, issuing guidance, facilitating change, building capacity and monitoring trends. It is reported that there is seen a rise in patient harm in healthcare facilities, and causing a lot of people to get sick or even die. According to the available research, hospitalization causes 134 million adverse events each year in low- and middle-income countries, which ultimately result in 2.6 million fatalities. One in ten people receiving hospital care in high-income countries suffers injury. Even in high-income countries, approximately one in ten patients is harmed while receiving hospital care facilities. So, considering all the events and research, in the 72nd World Health Assembly, a resolution was adopted WHA 72.6 on ‘Global action on patient safety’ and Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030 as the main strategy for eliminating avoidable harm in health care. Under this, World Patient Safety Day was established in May 2019. World Patient Safety Day is observed every year on 17 September. Patient safety is a very important part of healthcare as healthcare can sometimes be complicated. There has been a rise in patient harm in healthcare facilities, and it causes a lot of people to get sick or even die. It is reported that hospitalization causes millions of adverse events each year in low- and middle-income countries, which ultimately result in millions of fatalities. Even in high-income countries, approximately one in ten patients is harmed while receiving hospital care facilities. Each year, World Patient Safety Day is commemorated with a distinct theme. The theme for World Patient Safety Day 2023 is “Engaging patients for patient safety” while the previous year’s theme was “Medication Without Harm”. The purpose of the day is to honour the crucial role patients, families, and caregivers play in the safety of health care. Its goals are to raise public awareness and participation, improve knowledge on a worldwide scale, and encourage Member States to act in harmony to improve patient safety and reduce patient harm. Here in this post, we have given all the details on World Patient Safety Day 2023. The main objectives of the World Patient Safety Day 2023 are:
(a) Raise global awareness of the need for active engagement of patients and their families and caregivers in all settings and at all levels of health care to improve patient safety.
(b) Engage policy-makers, health care leaders, health and care workers, patients’ organizations, civil society and other stakeholders in efforts to engage patients and families in the policies and practices for safe health care.
(c) Empower patients and families to be actively involved in their own health care and in the improvement of safety of health care.
(d) Advocate urgent action on patient and family engagement, aligned with the Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021–2030, to be taken by all partners.
There is a need to actively involve patients, their families, and caregivers in all settings and at all levels of healthcare in order to ensure patient safety. Participate in efforts to involve patients and families in the policies and practices for safe healthcare by involving policymakers, healthcare leaders, health and care workers, patients’ organizations, civil society, and other stakeholders. Encourage patients and their families to take an active role in improving the safety of medical care as well as their personal health. Encourage all partners to take immediate steps to engage patients and their families in accordance with the Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021–2030. The global campaign for World Patient Safety Day in 2023 will propose a wide range of activities for all stakeholders on and around September 17th, including national campaigns, policy forums, advocacy and technical events, capacity-building initiatives, and, as in previous years, lighting up famous monuments, landmarks, and public spaces in the colour orange (the campaign’s signature mark). It is concluded that the main purpose of celebrating this day is to RAISE global awareness of the high burden of medication-related harm due to medication errors and unsafe practices, and ADVOCATE urgent action to improve medication safety. ENGAGE key stakeholders and partners in the efforts to prevent medication errors and reduce medication-related harm. EMPOWER patients and families to be actively involved in the safe use of medication.
SCALE UP implementation of the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm. Patient safety is a critical policy issue and remains an important challenge to all health systems. Many adverse events leading to harm may be prevented if appropriate safety protocols and clinical guidelines are followed. The foundations for health system resilience and a capacity to minimise harm are found in strong safety governance, a 21st century information infrastructure, and sufficient, appropriately skilled workforce. The analysis is clear: unsafe care kills millions, and harms tens of millions of people each year. It also exerts a great economic cost on health systems and society, consuming valuable resources that could be put to productive uses elsewhere. Much of this can be prevented through concerted action and adequate investment. Let us all play our role in the safety of health care.
(The authors write regularly on social and environmental issues exclusively for “ Kashmir Horizon” . The views, opinions, facts, assumptions, presumptions and conclusions expressed in this article are those of the author and aren’t necessarily in accord with the views of “Kashmir Horizon”.)