World Patient Safety Day 2021 is celebrated on September 17 worldwide. This day raises global awareness about patient safety and calls for solidarity from all counties to reduce patient harm.
September 17 is an official global public health campaign marked by the World Health Organization (WHO). World Patient Safety Day joins the ranks of ten other global public health campaigns that include World Tuberculosis Day, World Health Day, World Malaria Day and more.
World Patient Safety Day emerged as part of a growing problem in the healthcare system. One of the leading causes of morbidity and mortality worldwide is patient harm due to adverse events.
2.6 million deaths happen every year in low and middle-income countries due to hospitalizations that lead to adverse events. On the other hand, high-income countries experience one in ten patients being harmed while receiving hospital care.
This year, the WHO urged all stakeholders to “Act now for safe and respectful childbirth!” with the theme “Safe maternal and newborn care.” This is because over 810 women die every day from preventable diseases and complications of pregnancy and childbirth.
Additionally, 6,700 newborns die daily, more than 2 million babies are stillborn every year and 40 percent of those deaths occur due to complications during labor.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, this number was greatly affected because of the lack of care provided to expectant mothers and their babies. In addition, other factors disrupted essential health workers, requiring them to work outside of their specialities.
The WHO said that this campaign is even more critical this year than ever because of these COVID-19 disruptions to maternal and newborn care.
The upside about these statistics is that most stillbirths and newborn deaths are avoidable by providing safe, quality care by skilled healthcare professionals in supportive environments. However, this is only achievable by bettering health systems and community-based approaches through the engagement of all stakeholders.
The objectives of this year’s World Patient Safety Day composed by the WHO include the following:
- “Raise global awareness on the issues of maternal and newborn safety, particularly during childbirth.
- Engage multiple stakeholders and adopt effective and innovative strategies to improve maternal and newborn safety.
- Call for urgent and sustainable actions by all stakeholders to scale up efforts, reach the unreached and ensure safe maternal and newborn care, particularly during childbirth.
- Advocate the adoption of best practices at the point of care to prevent avoidable risks and harm to all women and newborns during childbirth.”
In honor of World Patient Safety Day, some companies have taken the initiative to support this day by spreading awareness and information.
The Emergency Care Research Institute (ECRI) is a trusted voice in healthcare and an affiliate of the Institute for Safe Medication Practices (ISMP). They developed a World Patient Safety Day 2021 Resource Centre that provides people with accessible and shareable patient safety, medication safety, and evidence-based medicine resources to reduce the risks and harm that women and newborns are exposed to due to unsafe care.
“We invite others to join us in working toward safer, more affordable, equitable, and accessible care for mothers and babies everywhere,” said ECRI president and CEO Marcus Schabacker in a press release. “These resources will help providers and pharmacists across the entire care continuum.”
Transforming Health Regionally in a Vibrant Economy (THRIVE) are leaders across the Great Lakes Bay Region who create links between economic success and health to transform healthcare and community well-being. In recognition of World Patient Safety Day, they are sharing with the community several milestones achieved with their ongoing work to reduce adverse drug events and support patient safety in the community.
They believe that one of the most common concerns revolving around patient safety is medication’s role in overall health. For example, adverse drug events that result in death due to medical errors are the fourth cause of death annually and come to a total cost of $136 billion.
Kuwait marked September 17 as World Patient Safety Day, with Dr. Salman Al-Sabah, the chairman of Kuwait Surgeons Society and head of the surgery department at Jaber Hospital, saying that patient safety and health are the top priority for patients and healthcare systems worldwide. He stressed its necessity and patient’s rights as some of the most important laws in the health services field. The recognition of this day will allow Kuwait to join others to make a move towards bettering the world’s health systems.
To engage in some virtual events on September 17, the WHO have some activities planned. Additionally, iconic monuments, landmarks and public places will use the color orange to show their support for World Patient Safety Day 2021.