World Patient Safety Day is an initiative from the World Health Organization (WHO) to emphasize the awareness of unsafe healthcare. December 9th is a day when patients are asked to observe and adopt methods to improve the healthcare processes and standards throughout the world.
Healthcare has evolved relentlessly in recent decades, but there is still a need for progress in some departments. Certain research has been carried out by consultancy companies to derive ways and means to improve safety, but this research can only provide a limited amount of data. More and more, it is becoming the patients’ duty to aid this progression.
What can you do for your own safety?
A World Patient Safety Day was proposed to highlight where the public can assist in promoting better safety in healthcare, as statistical reports showed that as many as one in ten patients were involved in healthcare errors. Many specific areas where a patient could report or analyze a particular medical discipline were earmarked.
- Assist administration staff by ensuring that all your personal data on their records is accurate, to be best of your knowledge, including the allergies that you suffer from and your previous medical history.
- Be prudent of your diagnosis and ask questions if you are not sure of any detail; if you are not confident in your ability to comprehend the doctor’s analysis, bring along a friend/relative who is.
- Do not be afraid to seek a second opinion on a concerning medical condition. If you are unsure of your diagnosis, then double-check it against another expert.
- Ask the consultant to outline the pros and cons of any medical procedure that s/he may prescribe for you; not every procedure is absolutely necessary.
A Day of Remembrance
World Patient Safety Day is celebrated to help us feel safer in our medical establishments; it is important that we have confidence in our medical staff and procedures. It is also a day when we remember friends or relatives who have died or suffered tragic consequences as a result of medical error. Unfortunately, there is always an inherent risk of human error when you seek medical assistance, but if you can involve yourself as much as you can in your own treatment, then you may be able to reduce this risk and also help to limit these tragic errors for others in the future.