Health workers, who effortlessly strive to treat patients, are facing several healthcare-related challenges. The COVID-19 pandemic has also revealed several risks and challenges that are affecting health workers. These challenges also pose risks to the patients that are under care. Ranging from violence, psychological and emotional challenges, and healthcare-associated infections to stigma, working environments have been seen as a threat for workers who are putting their lives on the line to treat patients.
Health workers are more prone to errors as they work in such stressful environments. Patient safety centers on taking steps to prevent and reduce errors and complications which can occur during patient care. Some concerns regarding patient safety include hospital-acquired infection, wrong diagnosis, complications from surgery, medical errors, and so on. These errors made during treatment can be prevented.
World Health Organization (WHO) and healthcare providers have recognized the importance of ensuring the safety of patients.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), over 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.
WHO also revealed that 15% of hospital expenses can be attributed to treating patient safety failures in OECD countries and 4 out of 10 patients are harmed in the primary and ambulatory settings.
Recognizing World Patient Safety Day
It is a global health priority to recognize the safety of patients. In May 2019, all 194 WHO Member States at the 72nd World Health Assembly, endorsed the establishment of World Patient Safety Day.
Marked annually on 17 September, World Patient Safety Day was created to enhance global understanding, increase public awareness, and spur global solidarity and action to promote patient safety.
World Patient Safety Day 2020- Theme
The theme of the World Patient Safety Day 2020 is ‘Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety.’
Its appeal is to ‘speak up for health worker safety.’
Celebrating World Patient Safety Day 2020
World Health Organization is advocating for the provision of measures to safeguard health workers. Patients safety can be only be guaranteed when health workers are able to work in a favorable environment.
They are seeking collaboration between academic and clinical leaders to provide an enabling environment for health workers. A well-simplified system with appropriate multi-level safeguards should be developed. This will promote trust in the health care systems and workers, thereby ensuring the safety of patients.
Health workers should not be blamed when errors occur. They should also be provided with appropriate support, which will encourage them to trust the health systems.
The healthcare environment must fulfill the needs of staff and patients.