Earlier this year, the World Health Organization endorsed 17 September as the day that will be observed annually as World Patient Safety Day. The theme for the event in 2019 will be: Patient Safety: a global health priority, and the slogan will be: Speak up for patient safety!

The WHO website lists a number of stark statistics, which serve to emphasize the importance of this issue:

  • 134 million adverse events occur each year due to unsafe care in hospitals in low- and middle-income countries, contributing to 2.6 million deaths annually
  • 15% of hospital expenses can be attributed to treating patient safety failures in OECD countries
  • 40% patients are harmed in the primary and ambulatory settings; up to 80% of harm in these settings can be avoided

Medication safety is a critical element in delivering safer health care. Visit the WHO resource page 5 Moments for medication safety here to access useful promotional materials. To mark the occasion the prestigious medical journal The Lancet has published a dedicated editorial on the subject, which can be accessed here