Category Archives: Public Health

World Patient Safety Day (17 September 2022): Medication Without Harm

World Patient Safety Day is celebrated on 17 September each year. This year, the theme is medication safety, with the slogan ‘Medication Without Harm’.

Background Information:

World Patient Safety Day is one of WHO’s Global Public Health Days. It was established in 2019 by the Seventy-second World Health Assembly through the adoption of resolution WHA72.6 – “Global action on patient safety”. Its objectives are to increase public awareness and engagement, enhance global understanding, and work towards global solidarity and action by Member States to enhance patient safety and reduce patient harm.

Objectives of World Patient Safety Day 2022:

  1. 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.
  2. ENGAGE key stakeholders and partners in the efforts to prevent medication errors and reduce medication-related harm.
  3. EMPOWER patients and families to be actively involved in the safe use of medication.
  4. SCALE UP implementation of the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm.

Key Messages:

What is a medication error? Any avoidable event that may cause or lead to incorrect medication use or patient harm.

1 in 20 patients attending healthcare facilities is exposed to avoidable medication harm.

1 in 4 patients faces severe or life threatening harm.

Patients also face psychological and physical suffering.

Medication harm accounts for over 50% of overall avoidable harm in medical care.

Health Workers

  • Keep your skills in safe medication practices up to date
  • Engage patients through shared decision-making using tools such as the 5 Moments for Medication Safety and implement actions related to the Know. Check. Ask. campaign
  • Provide clear and full medication-related information to all members of the clinical team throughout the process of care
  • Report medication safety incidents, and share and apply lessons learned with your team and patients when possible
  • Be mindful of situations where risk from medications is high and ensure safety measures are followed
  • Mentor new members of your team on safe medication systems and practices

Patients, families, and general public

  • When prescribed a medication, check with your health worker that you have all the information you need to take it safely. Follow the Know. Check. Ask. actions
  • Keep an up-to-date list of all the medications you take, including traditional medicines, and share it with your treating health workers
  • Take your medications as recommended by your health worker
  • Use the 5 Moments for Medication Safety tool to keep you safe while taking your medications
  • Be aware of the potential side-effects of your medications
  • Store your medications as indicated and check the expiration date regularly
  • Raise any concerns about your medication with your health worker

Useful Links:

Link to related WHO news release:

https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-patient-safety-day/2022

Link to related WHO video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jO46HvSNTHA&t=1s

Link to WHO’s 5 Moments for medication safety document:

https://www.who.int/publications/i/item/WHO-HIS-SDS-2019.4