World Patient Safety Day: WHO stresses ending unsafe drug practices
On World Patient Safety Day, the WHO on Saturday highlighted the need to prevent preventable harm in health systems with a focus on ending unsafe medication practices and errors.
In addition to causing significant disability and death, unsafe medication practices and errors cost an estimated $42 million annually worldwide.
In low- and middle-income countries, including the WHO South-East Asia Region, harm to patients from unsafe care contributes to around 134 million adverse events per year, resulting in around 2.6 million deaths, said WHO Regional Director for Southeast Asia, Dr Poonam Khetrapal. Singh said.
Unsafe medication practices and errors can occur at different stages. This can result from weak medication systems or human factors such as fatigue, poor environmental conditions or staff shortages, she said in a statement.
Since 2015, the WHO South-East Asia Region has made targeted efforts to reduce risky medication practices and errors with a focus on tackling counterfeit and substandard products and improved patient safety and reporting systems.
Particular region-wide attention is being paid to reducing drug-related harm in elderly patient care, critical care, highly specialized or surgical care and emergency medicine, Singh said in the statement. .
WHO continues to support countries in the region to adopt a system-wide approach to promote safe drug practices by focusing on several priorities.
This is done by helping policy makers establish patient safety incident reporting and learning systems. Second, by empowering health officials to develop standard operating procedures for safe drug use while increasing health worker training and buy-in, she said.
Health workers are supported to keep abreast of safe medicine practices. In addition, healthcare professionals and patients are encouraged to know and act on the WHO Know, Check, Ask protocol which aims to raise awareness of the importance of using medicines safely. .
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