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September 16, 2022
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With the advancement of modern healthcare, patient safety is more important than ever. Furthermore, the goal of world patient safety is to reduce medication-related harm.
Most of us do not consider patient safety issues until something goes wrong close to home. World Patient Safety Day is a global call to reduce preventable injuries and errors in healthcare. This year’s theme is mediation and understanding and implementing ways to help reduce the harm caused to patients through medications.
As humans, we need to take medications when we get sick. Medications can save our lives. But when expired, incorrectly stored, or wrongly prescribed, they are harmful to our health. Furthermore, unsafe medicine practices can lead to serious health problems and can even cause death. So, to reduce medication-related harm every year, on September 17, WHO (World Health Organization) obverse’s “World Patient Safety Day” (1).
According to “The Australia Commission of Safety and Quality in Health Care,” on this day, patients and healthcare providers are encouraged to prioritize medication safety and take action to reduce medication-related harm across three critical areas which are:
Each year a new theme is selected for this day. This way, this event stays vibrant and interesting to people. Furthermore, according to WHO, the objectives of 2022 patient safety day are:
There are many reasons why things happen that cause harm due to medications. Let’s look at a few of those now:
Miscommunication between doctors and patients can be a big one. As a patient, you must be truthful to your doctor about everything you are taking. This also includes answering all of their questions as truthfully as possible. During the initial workup, some patients might forget or simply not tell the truth. This could lead them into a very dangerous situation. Doctors don’t know that you have taken something you have omitted that could have a dangerous reaction to a medication they are about to prescribe.
Furthermore, it is important for the doctor to explain the medications, side effects, and risks to them. What happens if you miss a dose or if you take a double dose by mistake? Patients and doctors need to discuss these situations. A better understanding is important around medication safety.
Doctors are spread thin in many medical facilities. This leads to them missing important information within the patient’s charts. This is a problem in many countries. Doctors and medical staff are short-staffed and run on skeleton crews for so long that they quickly get burnt out. This leads to depression, anxiety, and mistakes in medications.
On this day, different organizations plan different events. You can join one of these events or volunteers at them. Or work on raising awareness about patient safety in your community. You can also share on your social media, which is the easiest way to become a part of this mission.
Many different events organized around the world recognize the importance of medication safety. These are things such as events that educate the general public on information, they should be aware of, rewarding medical staff on their “good catch” when they find something that perhaps another might have missed, or even providing a suggestion box on ways the medical organization can improve.
If you want to do something for this special day and work in a medical facility, reach out to your supervisor to find out more. Education for both those working in the hospital and the general public is a great way to build awareness. As patients, we are also a part of the solution when we look out for ourselves. Understand the medications you are prescribed. Also, always be truthful to your doctor. Do your research to ensure you are okay and comfortable with possible side effects.
Patient safety day increases awareness among health care professionals. They become more careful about their work. Moreover, pharmaceutical companies have also become cautious about using good ingredients for making medicines. The observation of this day inspires everyone to become proactive about patient safety issues. Finally, it improves global healthcare as different local and international organizations work together.
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