Five Reasons Global Patient Safety is Important

April 1, 2021
April 1, 2021

Patient safety is vitally important. The following five safety facts and descriptions that highlight this importance are from the World Health Organization (2014).

  1. Patient safety is a serious global public health issue There is now growing recognition that patient safety and quality is a critical dimension of universal health coverage. Since the launch of the WHO Patient Safety Program in 2004, over 140 countries have worked to address the challenges of unsafe care.
  2. One in 10 patients may be harmed while in the hospital Estimates show that in developed countries as many as 1 in 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care. The harm can be caused by a range of errors or adverse events.
  3. Hospital infections affect 14 out of every 100 patients admitted Of every 100 hospitalized patients at any given time, 7 in developed and 10 in developing countries will acquire health care-associated infections (HAIs). Hundreds of millions of patients are affected worldwide each year. Simple and low-cost infection prevention and control measures, such as appropriate hand hygiene, can reduce the frequency of HAIs by more than 50%.
  4. Most people lack access to appropriate medical devices There are an estimated 1.5 million different medical devices and over 10,000 types of devices available worldwide. The majority of the world’s population is denied adequate access to safe and appropriate medical devices within their health systems. More than half of low- and lower middle-income countries do not have a national health technology policy which could ensure the effective use of resources through proper planning, assessment, acquisition, and management of medical devices.
  5. Unsafe injections decreased by 88% from 2000 to 2010 Key injection safety indicators measured in 2010 show that important progress has been made in the reuse rate of injection devices (5.5% in 2010), while modest gains were made through the reduction of the number of injections per person per year (2.88 in 2010).

This post is taken from one of the articles in our recent eBook, The Urgent Priority To Keep Each Patient Safe. Download the eBook here.