Observing International Patient Safety Day

That time of year is coming once again and as summer is quickly shifting to fall we’re looking at 2021’s International Patient Safety Day just under a month away. September 17 is marked as International Patient Safety Day, and the official World Health Organization campaign uses this day as a time to look at how medicine is practiced at all levels, how health care systems work, and where they fail, and what can be done to make them even better.

Unfortunately, a lot of harm comes from preventable medical mistakes. This is a time for individuals in all parts of the medical system to take a look at how things work and to find ways to make the system better and to keep building on those successes to continue making progress worldwide.

An Unusual Year

There’s no denying with the COVID-19 pandemic breaking out in 2020 and into 2021 has brought an onslaught of new challenges and problems in even the best conditions, which many medical professionals have handled with valor. It has also shown the major stresses built into systems that in many places were stretched far too thin as is in a way that could contribute to fatigue and exhaustion to medical providers. And that can lead to mistakes.

While it can be easy to overlook a lot while the pandemic is (understandably) still the main focus, observing international patient safety day is an important reminder of just how important this is for everyone involved.

Observing International Patient Safety Day in 2021

There are multiple ways to observe International Patient Safety Day. The first step is to talk to your doctor. Working on having an open dialogue about how you’re feeling, any changes from the normal, these are important details and working on keeping an open dialogue helps to make sure nothing escapes notice.

The second step is to always read the label. If you clearly remember the doctor saying one thing but the pharmacist delivers another, don’t assume the switch out is fine! This could be from poor handwriting, a miscommunication, or other issue. If the label doesn’t match the prescription, have the pharmacist call to confirm to be on the safe side.

Practice good health measures. A doctor or nurse who is ill won’t be able to think as clearly as one who isn’t. Washing hands, wearing masks, and practicing best health measures can therefore keep you safe in more ways than just the obvious!

Global Celebrations

Even in the midst of a global pandemic, it’s important to look at how far we’ve come and celebrate the continued efforts moving forward towards even better patient safety. As with 2020 celebrations will focus on global virtual events that bring together members of the WHO, world health ministers, workers, and more to continue to advance safety and advocacy of patients.

This is a topic that is incredibly important and taking the time to celebrate progress while continuing to search for more that can be done better. Continual progress will only lead to better experience, and results, for the patients who come to us for the treatment they need – and the safety they deserve!

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