Millions of individuals are injured or die every year due to poor-quality health treatment.
According to the data published by the World Health Organization, patient harm is the 14th leading cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In other words, the global burden of unsafe care is comparable to that of major infectious diseases such as malaria, tuberculosis, or HIV/AIDS (1).
In the European Union, 23% of citizens claim that they have been directly affected by medical error, while 18% have experienced a severe medical error in a hospital (2). Hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) and adverse drug events (ADEs), associated with medication errors, are the leading causes of avoidable harm in healthcare settings. Strikingly, recent research from Australia found that the combined costs of adverse events in hospitals (such as HAIs and ADEs) account for as much as 13% of public hospital spending (3).
Medical errors are preventable.
On a positive note, the evidence suggests that 50% to 70% of such harm is preventable through systematic approaches to patient safety (4).
“To err is human, and expecting flawless performance from human beings working in complex, high-stress environments is unrealistic. Assuming that individual perfection is possible will not improve safety (5). Humans guard ourselves against making mistakes when placed in an error-proof environment where the systems, tasks and processes they work in are well designed (6).” – World Health Organization, 2019
If the problem is genuinely systemic, hospitals must address their patient safety in a comprehensive, systemic manner, which starts by creating a culture of patient safety.
Patient Safety Awareness Week 2022
Patient Safety Awareness Week, sponsored by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, is an annual event that encourages us all to learn more about healthcare safety.
We at Sani Nudge believe that patient safety is fundamental to providing quality healthcare services. Technological innovations in healthcare can reduce medical harm and change our understanding of preventability.
The Sani Nudge solution improves patient and employee safety by lowering HIAs and improving hand hygiene levels (7).
Everyone interacts with the healthcare systems at some point in their life. Therefore, our joint responsibility is to increase awareness about the importance of patient safety and promote open and transparent safety culture.
Join us in Patient Safety Awareness week and encourage the initiatives to combat preventable deaths and injuries worldwide!
- Jha, A. (2018). “Accreditation, Quality, and Making Hospital Care Better.” JAMA – Journal of the American Medical Association.
- World Health Organization. (2019). Patient safety- Global action on patient safety. Report by the Director-General. Retrieved from: https://apps.who.int/gb/ebwha/pdf_files/WHA72/A72_26-en.pdf
- Duckett, S., & Jorm C. (2018). Safer Care Saves Money.
- Panagioti, M. et al. (2019). Prevalence, Severity, and Nature of Preventable Patient Harm across Medical Care Settings: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. The BMJ
- Systems Approach. In: Patient Safety Network [website]. (2019). Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. Retrieved from: https://psnet.ahrq.gov/primers/primer/21
- Leape L. (1997). Testimony before the President’s Advisory Commission on Consumer Production and Quality in the Health Care Industry.
- Iversen, A.M., Stangerup, M., From-Hansen, M., Hansen, R., Sode, L. P., Kostadinov, K., … Knudsen, J. D. (2020). Light-guided nudging and data-driven performance feedback improve hand hygiene compliance among nurses and doctors. American Journal of Infection Control. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajic.2020.11.007