International Patient Safety Day - September 17
Complex, multi-layered health care systems can sometimes stray from patient safety considerations. Thus, International Patient Safety Day, observed on September 17, reminds us that patient safety is up to all of us. All relevant stakeholders in our health care process —patients, doctors, administrators — need to work together to ensure the safe delivery of health care.
For World Patient Safety Day, the World Health Organization urges all stakeholders to “Act now for safe and respectful childbirth!” with the theme “Safe maternal and newborn care”. Approximately 810 women die every day from preventable causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. In addition, around 6700 newborns die every day, amounting to 47% of all under-5 deaths. Moreover, about 2 million babies are stillborn every year, with over 40% occurring during labor. Considering the significant burden of risks and harm women and newborns are exposed to due to unsafe care, compounded by the disruption of essential health services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the campaign is even more important this year.
Fortunately, the majority of stillbirths and maternal and newborn deaths are avoidable through the provision of safe and quality care by skilled health professionals working in supportive environments. This can only be achieved through the engagement of all stakeholders and the adoption of comprehensive health systems and community-based approaches.
Work together to make childbirth safer
The global campaign for World Patient Safety Day 2021 proposes a wide range of activities to be implemented on and around 17 September 2021, including organization of advocacy and technical events, lighting up of iconic monuments, landmarks, and public places in orange (the signature mark of the campaign), and the launch of the World Patient Safety Day 2021–2022 goals. WHOencourages all stakeholders to join the global
campaign to promote collective efforts for safe maternal and newborn care, particularly during childbirth.
Objective of World Patient Safety Day 2021:
- 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.
Observing the International Patient Safety Day
Talk to your doctor
Doctor visits can be intimidating and doctors aren't always the best communicators. Maintain an open dialogue with your doctor about how you're feeling. This is one issue for which you can't talk too much.
Read the label
Errors in delivering and taking pharmaceuticals account for a significant portion of errors in patient safety. Make sure you read the labels on your medication to take the right dosage and don't be afraid to chat with your pharmacist about any questions related to your prescriptions.
Contribute to your own safety
Read up on best practices for maintaining good health and for ensuring your visit to the doctor or the hospital is as safe as possible. The World Health Organization offers a host of resources on its website.
Ways to increase your own safety as a patient
Make sure anyone involved in providing medical care to you knows about your allergies.
Don't just show up at the doctor's office or hospital; think about what you want to know and learn ahead of time.
Get an advocate
Sometimes you're not thinking at your best when getting treatment. Identify a family member or friend who can be your advocate to those providing your care.
Celebrating World Patient Safety Day 2021
During the continuing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, a combination of virtual and other activities are being planned by WHO to observe and celebrate the Day in September 2021. The signature mark of the global campaign is to light up iconic monuments, landmarks, and public places in the color orange.
WHO calls upon all stakeholders – governments, nongovernmental organizations, professional organizations, civil society, patient organizations, academia, and research institutes – to join the global campaign by lighting up iconic monuments in orange, and organizing international, national, and local activities and events on and around 17 September 2021.
World Patient Safety Day was established in 2019 to enhance global understanding of patient safety, increase public engagement in the safety of health care and promote global actions to enhance patient safety and reduce patient harm.
You can share your plans for celebrating WPSD 2021 with the World Health Organization by filling out this e-form. This information will be used as a baseline for campaign evaluation and might be featured on the World Patient Safety Day 2021 webpage.