Global health and patient safety

12 Settembre 23

September 17, 2023 marks the 5th World Patient Safety Day. This year’s campaign focuses on the importance of direct patient involvement in care processes (Engaging Patients for Patient Safety). In fact, there is evidence that the role of caregivers has a significant impact in terms of satisfaction, effectiveness and safety of treatment pathways. With the slogan “Elevate the voice of patients!”, WHO calls on patients and their families to be active partners in health care, thereby participating in the formulation of health policy and safety strategies.

World Patient Safety Day: history and purpose

Established in 2019 by the 72nd World Health Assembly, World Patient Safety Day was created to raise awareness about global health, based on the assumption that it is closely related to patient safety. According to WHO, the direct experience of caregivers, family members and family members is a valuable aid in improving the effectiveness and safety of care. The assumption is confirmed by “studies showing a potential reduction in the burden of harm of up to 15 percent, saving countless lives and billions of dollars each year.” Increasing awareness and direct involvement of patients, ensuring access to tools and opportunities for them to have their voices heard, will help “improve global understanding and work toward global solidarity” to promote person-centeredness, accountability and equity in health care systems.

The 2023 campaign: engaging patients for patient safety

World Patient Safety Day 2023 includes a series of initiatives to “promote urgent action on patient and family engagement, in line with the Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030, to be undertaken by all partners.”

Creating sustainable health care means creating a culture of safety that involves all stakeholders: policymakers, patient groups, physicians, managers, and health care providers. It is a pathway to be built through learning, data monitoring and innovation to support healthcare workers, increase their knowledge and curb clinical risk, i.e., the possibility of unintentional patient harm attributable to care.

Medication without harm

According to the World Health Organization, medication errors and inappropriate medication use impact the global health care system by more than $40 billion a year (about 1 percent of global spending). Raising awareness of the problem, involving patients and health professionals first, is one of the strategies to implement safe care and achieve the goals of the “Global Patient Safety Challenge on Medication Safety,” WHO’s global plan to reduce avoidable harms associated with medication administration by 50 percent.

In Italy, pharmacovigilance activities related to “the identification, evaluation, understanding and prevention of adverse effects or any other problem related to the use of medicines” are entrusted to AIFA. Established in 2003, the Italian Drug Agency is a public law body that is also responsible for monitoring pharmaceutical expenditure data, the results of which are reported monthly to the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Economy.