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To observe the day, GS1 Healthcare, the International Hospital Federation (IHF), the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP), the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua), and the European Health Management Association (EHMA) are joining the healthcare community around the globe in celebrating the World Patient Safety Day.
World Patient Safety Day focuses on raising awareness and ensuring that patient safety is recognised as an international health priority. It is led by the World Health Organization (WHO).
This week to help spread the word, we called on stakeholders to prioritise and take early action in key areas associated with significant patient harm due to unsafe medication practices. Harm from medication to patients is more likely to occur during high-risk situations, transitions of care, when patients use of medication is concurrent (polypharmacy) and where look-alike, sound-alike medications are part of the patient’s clinical treatment. These high-risk areas are grounded into the WHO’s global patient safety challenge strategic framework which The Five Rights of Medication Administration complement. The five rights of medication can be applied to all healthcare settings from a visit to your GP to care received in a care or nursing home.
“Today we reaffirm our close and comprehensive partnership towards increasing global public awareness and effective actions to reduce patient harm. We will further strengthen cooperation in promoting the use of global standards in healthcare to drive healthcare supply chain efficiencies, enable the traceability of medicines down to the patient, and ultimately improve patient safety” reports Géraldine Lissalde-Bonnet, Vice President, Healthcare (GS1).
“Medication accounts for 50% of harm in healthcare, resulting in 1 death per million per day globally, and in one European country, Sweden, it is suspected that 3% (almost 345,000 people) of the population dies because of a medication error. Medication is the main part of an episode of hospital care, but errors arising from this process have significant consequences for Europe’s health systems, and life-changing impacts for patients and families involved in an error. Digital tools and solutions exist to achieve reductions in patient harm from medication. Investments in hospitals’ medication management pathways are a key to enhance patient safety in hospitals. Therefore, EHMA’s alliance for the digitisation of hospitals’ medication management pathways calls on the European Union to scale up digital systems to reduce patient harm from medication” says George Valiotis, Executive Director of European Health Management Association (EHMA).
“Medication related errors are among the most under-researched risks that significantly impact patient safety. Addressing medication-related harm is of uttermost importance for the hospital pharmacy profession since new therapeutic modalities and the variation of treatment possibilities are only adding to the complexity of issues that can be encountered at the hospital. Another source of medication-related harm that concerns patients and our membership is the use of potentially inappropriate medicines (PIMs) and the pharmacodynamic differences between younger and older patients. For EAHP patient safety does not end at the hospital doors. Investment into seamless care and the inclusion of pharmacological expertise in frontline healthcare are paramount for achieving the goals of WHO’s Global Patient Safety Challenge. Policy makers at European and national level need to ensure that hospital and clinical pharmacists can contribute their expertise throughout the patient care pathway” reports András Süle, President of the European Association of Hospital Pharmacists (EAHP).
“Medication safety is rightly the focus of this year’s World Patient Safety Day. We should not accept harm that could have been avoided. The way to achieve safety is multipronged. We need to understand ergonomics and the dynamics of complex processes, we need to leverage technology, and we need to engage patients and families as partners. when designing and implementing solutions. Daily medication work should be done in partnership among all involved professionals and the service users. The World Patient Safety Day is a great opportunity to raise awareness of the challenge and to mobilize action and establish partnerships” says Dr. Carsten Engel, CEO of the International Society for Quality in Health Care (ISQua).
“We all share a common ultimate goal: a world where every single individual enjoys a healthy life. Unfortunately, every year patients are harmed or die because of unsafe medication practices and errors. Even if we know the causes of these errors, they remain unacceptable. We should all work on eliminating avoidable adverse events and risks in healthcare. Hospitals are responsible for their patients’ health and safety. Therefore, they should prioritize actions aimed at creating a safety culture and a trusted and trustful working environment. The implementation of strategies and procedures focusing on reducing the risk of human and medication errors is fundamental” reports Ronald Lavater, CEO, International Hospital Federation (IHF).