Monuments across the country will be bathed in orange light on Thursday, September 17! However, this is only part of Patients for Patient Safety Canada's efforts in promoting Safe health workers, Safe patients; the slogan of World Patient Safety Day. The objectives of World Patient Safety Day are to increase public awareness and engagement, and spur global action to promote patient safety.
At some point, every one of us will be a patient in the healthcare system. What most Canadians don't realize is that 28,000 of us die from preventable harm when receiving care, every single year (these numbers do not include deaths from the COVID pandemic).1 This makes patient safety incidents the third leading cause of death in Canada, behind cancer and heart disease.
"Safe health workers, Safe patients reinforces that the relationship between patients, families and healthcare workers must be a very active, balanced partnership," says Theresa Malloy-Miller, a member of Patients for Patient Safety Canada. "On the health worker side, there is an expectation that they are ready to partner with patients, families and residents; and on the patient and family side, they must be ready to be active in their own healthcare management."
Theresa explains that what this means for healthcare workers, is that they and their organizations are looking after their wellbeing and psychological health so that they are there to support others. They are also encouraged to speak up if they notice safety risks.
For patients, it means having your healthcare information readily available, including an up-to-date medication list. If you are going to an appointment, have a list of questions ready to ask of your healthcare provider. Patients ready to be in charge of their own health are more able to partner. If you are organized and clear in what your needs are, you can have a safe interaction with your healthcare provider.
Patients for Patient Safety Canada have undertaken a number of activities for September 17th, including: securing proclamations from municipal and provincial governments across the country to endorse World Patient Safety Day; producing a video that reinforces the partnership required to achieve Safe health workers, Safe patients; and distributing an Opinion Editorial (Op-Ed) that highlights the relationship between health workers, and patients and families. Patients for Patient Safety Canada will also partner with the World Health Organization's (WHO) Patients for Patient Safety Network, to highlight the distress that our healthcare workers are under, and promoting the importance of partnerships to keep patients safe.
Learn more about Canada's efforts to celebrate World Patient Safety Day at www.patientsafetyinstitute.ca
1 The Case for Investing in Patient Safety in Canada. Risk Analytica, 2017.