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HomeYour HealthManaging Your HealthYour MedicinesWhat Is World Patient Safety Day?What Is World Patient Safety Day?

Published on Sep 15, 2022
Authored by Pfizer Medical Team

WHAT IS WORLD PATIENT SAFETY DAY (WPSD)?

World Patient Safety Day (WPSD) is a global public health day that is celebrated every year on September 17th.1

First established in 2019 by the World Health Organization (WHO) – World Patient Safety Day aims to:2

  • Improve our understanding of patient safety

  • Encourage us to take positive action toward health care safety

  • Prevent and reduce patient harm

WHY IS WORLD PATIENT SAFETY DAY IMPORTANT FOR ME?

Did you know?

  • Patient harm due to side effects is among the 10 leading causes of death and disability worldwide3

  • Medication errors are a major cause of preventable harm and death - costing Australia and other countries billions of dollars each year4

World Patient Safety Day is important because it recognises patient safety as a global health priority.5

It is the day that brings together patients, families, caregivers, health workers and health care leaders from around the world to focus on and improve patient safety.5

Each year, a new theme is chosen for World Patient Safety Day to highlight where action is needed to improve patient safety and reduce error, risk and avoidable patient harm.

WHAT CAN I DO TO IMPROVE MEDICATION SAFETY?

Whether you’re taking one or many medications, follow these tips to protect yourself from potential harm:

Know your medication and how to read the label (medicine information):6

  • What condition is it for?

  • How and when should it be taken?

  • Is there anything you need to watch out for?

If you’re not sure – ask! Talk to your doctor, pharmacist, nurse or treatment team if you have:

  • Any questions about your medication - dose and time (how and when to take them?)

  • Any concerns about your treatment - especially if you take several medications

Report side effects:

  • If you think you may be experiencing a side effect related to a Pfizer medicine:

  • If you think you may be experiencing a side effect related to a non-Pfizer medicine, click here to report this

WHY IS THIS YEAR’S THEME ‘MEDICATION SAFETY’ SO IMPORTANT?

Medication Safety is the theme for World Patient Safety Day 2022.1 So why is this important?

Everyone will, at some point in their life, take a medicine to prevent or treat illness. However, medicines can also cause harm if they are:1

  • Incorrectly prescribed by your doctor

  • Incorrectly dispensed by your pharmacist

  • Not taken according to the instructions

  • Not stored in the right conditions

The safe use of medicines starts with understanding through good communication! So make sure you check with your doctor, pharmacist, nurse or treatment team if you have any concerns around your treatment.

WHERE CAN I FIND OUT MORE ABOUT PREVIOUS WORLD PATIENT SAFETY DAYS?

Click here to find out more about themes and activities for previous World Patient Safety Days.

Key tips to remember:

Before you take it...

  • Know your medications

  • Check the dose and time

  • Ask your doctor or pharmacist

Keep reading to find out how you can improve medication and health care safety:

References

  1. World Patient Safety Day 2022. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/events/detail/2022/09/17/default-calendar/world-patient-safety-day-2022 Accessed 31 Aug 2022.

  2. World Patient Safety Day. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-patient-safety-day/2021 Accessed 5 Sep 2022.

  3. Patient Safety. World Health Organization. https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/patient-safety Accessed 5 Sep 2022.

  4. Delivering safe and effective medication management technology. NHMRC. https://www.nhmrc.gov.au/about-us/news-centre/delivering-safe-and-effective-medication-management-technology Accessed 5 Sep 2022.

  5. 17 September is World Patient Safety Day. https://www.who.int/campaigns/world-patient-safety-day Accessed 5 Sep 2022.

  6. Safe use of medicines. Australian Government. https://www.health.gov.au/health-topics/medicines/safe-use Accessed 5 Sep 2022.

PP-UNP-AUS-0102 09/22
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