Promoting change is never a simple act; however, when you get like-minded people around the world to collectively raise their voices for a cause, positive change is inevitable.
Such is the case today. 17 September 2019 marks the first World Patient Safety Day, spearheaded by the World Health Organization (WHO), but joined hand-in-hand with clinicians, patients, advocates, leaders, and so many other key healthcare stakeholders globally, including the International Society for Quality in Healthcare (ISQua), to raise awareness of what we can ALL do to address patient safety.
Yes, it is EVERYONE's job - not just a nurse, technician or physician, but EVERYONE including those who never touch a patient.
As a non-clinician, but a healthcare leader who can influence change, I raise my hand and take responsibility for creating the right environment for patients to be free from harm, informed about care options, involved (with family and loved ones) in their care, and to receive equitable care.
About today, WHO writes:
Today is World Patient Safety Day. No one should be harmed in health care and yet, every day, thousands of patients suffer avoidable harm while receiving care. If you or a loved one are a patient, be actively involved in your own care. Provide accurate information about your medical history and be sure to communicate openly with your health care team. Ask questions to be aware of your health condition and treatment. Speak up for the safety of your care! Speak up for patient safety!
There is so much promise in improving patient safety in the coming years, with increased methods for communication, improved & safer technologies, better interoperability, innovation in healthcare delivery and broader dissemination of leading practices.
However, foundational to all of these improvements is the patient, who remains at the center of care. Both the patient and their loved ones, need to be guaranteed a safe place to express concern, ask questions and have an active voice in their own care.
Globally, we can do better and today is a step forward in seeking increased awareness of this voice.
Consider what you can do to promote this day of awareness, and help speak up for patient safety, not only today but each and every day!
Christopher Cornue, Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer, Navicent Health, USA; and ISQua Expert