World Patient Safety Day Date in the current year: September 17, 2024

World Patient Safety Day World Patient Safety Day is an annual observance that takes place on September 17. It was officially established by the World Health Organization (WHO) at the 72nd World Health Assembly that was held in Geneva, Switzerland in May 2019.

Primum non nocere (“first, do not harm”) is a fundamental principle of healthcare throughout the world. And while most doctors would never harm their patients intentionally, medical harm by error occurs more often than you might think, regardless of how developed a country’s healthcare system is.

According to the WHO, medical errors impact 10% of patients around the world. Unsafe care in hospitals in LMICs (low- and middle-income countries) leads to 134 million adverse events and 2.6 million deaths annually, up 4 out of 10 patients are harmed in the primary and ambulatory care settings, although up to 80% of such harm can be avoided, and an estimated $42 billion of expenses can be attributed to medication errors.

Taking this into account, the World Health Organization established World Patient Safety Day in order to raise global awareness of patient safety and coordinate efforts in ensuring patient safety both nationally and globally. The key objectives of the World Patient Safety Day campaign are to create global awareness of patient safety issues, emphasize the key role of patient safety in achieving Universal Health Coverage and Sustainable Development Goals, and encourage the development and implementation of systems, procedures and strategies for managing healthcare risks and ensuring patient safety.

The inaugural World Patient Safety Day was held on September 17, 2019. Countries that participated in the campaign included Afghanistan, Canada, Germany, India, Iraq, Jamaica, Japan, Malaysia, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Portugal, Singapore, Sudan, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, the United States, Vietnam, and more. World Patient Safety Day events are aimed at a wide audience that includes health authorities, health professionals, professional organizations, other related organizations, and the general public.

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World Patient Safety Day, international observances, WHO observances, medical errors, patient safety