Medication Safety
19 September 2022
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Medications are the most widely utilized interventions in health care, and medication-related harm constitutes the greatest proportion of the total preventable harm due to unsafe care, let alone the economic and psychological burden imposed by such harm.

Acknowledging this substantial burden and recognizing the complexity of medication-related harm prevention and reduction, “Medication Safety” has been selected as the theme for World Patient Safety Day 2022.

The campaign is envisaged to provide the needed impetus to consolidate the efforts of the existing WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm, emphasizing the need to adopt a systems approach and promote safe medication practices to prevent medication errors and reduce medication-related harm. Special consideration will be given to areas where most harm occurs. The key action areas are high-risk situations, transitions of care, and polypharmacy.

The global landscape of health care is changing with health systems operating in increasingly complex environments. While new treatments, technologies and care models can have therapeutic potential, they can also pose new threats to safe care. Patient safety is a fundamental principle of health care and is now being recognized as a large and growing global public health challenge. Global efforts to reduce the burden of patient harm have not achieved substantial change over the past 15 years, despite pioneering work in some health care settings.

Patient safety is a framework of organized activities that creates cultures, processes, procedures, behaviours, technologies and environments in health care that consistently and sustainably lower risks, reduce the occurrence of avoidable harm, make error less likely and reduce its impact when it does occur.

Every point in the process of care-giving contains a certain degree of inherent unsafety.

Clear policies, organizational leadership capacity, data to drive safety improvements, skilled health care professionals and effective involvement of patients and families in the care process, are all needed to ensure sustainable and significant improvements in the safety of health care.

Source: WHO

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