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The World Patients Safety Day (WPSD) is observed globally on 17th Sept every year. The theme of WPSD 2022 is “Medication Safety”, slogan is “Medication Without Harm” and the key action areas are high-risk situations, transitions of care, and polypharmacy. The objectives of WPSD are to increase public awareness and engagement, enhance global understanding, and work towards global solidarity and action by all stakeholders to improve patient safety.

Medication harm accounts for 50% of the overall preventable harm in medical care.

US$ 42 billion of global total health expenditure worldwide can be avoided if medication errors are prevented.

Medications are the most widely utilized interventions in health care, and medication-related harm constitutes the greatest proportion of the total preventable harm due to unsafe care, let alone the economic and psychological burden imposed by such harm. Acknowledging this substantial burden and recognizing the complexity of medication-related harm prevention and reduction, the theme of World Patient Safety Day 2022 is “Medication Safety”.

  1. RAISE global awareness of the high burden of medication-related harm due to medication errors and unsafe practices, and ADVOCATE urgent action to improve medication safety.
  2. ENGAGE key stakeholders and partners in the efforts to prevent medication errors and reduce medication-related harm.
  3. EMPOWER patients and families to be actively involved in the safe use of medication.
  4. SCALE UP implementation of the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm.

Target audience

Key messages

Policy-makers and programme managers

  • Ensure medication safety is addressed at all levels and in all settings in the health care system
  • Assess the burden of medication-related harm in your country
  • Integrate medication safety into every stage of patient care
  • Co-design and implement medication safety programmes with stakeholders, including patients and public
  • Establish a patient safety incident reporting and learning system, including medication safety incidents (medication errors and related harm)
  • Monitor progress and evaluate the impact of medication safety programmes
  • Launch Know. Check. Ask. as the medication safety campaign across the country

Health care leaders and facility managers

  • Designate a focal point and a multidisciplinary team to develop processes to ensure medication safety in your facility
  • Develop and implement standard operating procedures for safe medication use, taking into account the risk of human error
  • Make sure there are sufficient staff to cover patients’ medication needs
  • Provide opportunities to train health workers on safe medication use
  • Operationalize a patient safety incident reporting and learning system, including medication safety incidents (medication errors and related harm)
  • Create a safety culture where health workers are able to raise safety concerns related to medications
  • Prioritize action in areas where most medication-related harm occurs, such as high-risk situations, transitions of care and polypharmacy
  • Put in place strategies to reduce the risk of medication errors, such as double-checking, patient engagement and using information technology to improve processes

Health workers

  • Keep your skills in safe medication practices up to date
  • Engage patients through shared decision-making using tools such as the 5 Moments for Medication Safety and implement actions related to the Know. Check. Ask. campaign
  • Provide clear and full medication-related information to all members of the clinical team throughout the process of care
  • Report medication safety incidents, and share and apply lessons learned with your team and patients when possible
  • Be mindful of situations where risk from medications is high and ensure safety measures are followed
  • Mentor new members of your team on safe medication systems and practices

Patients, families and general public

  • When prescribed a medication, check with your health worker that you have all the information you need to take it safely. Follow the Know. Check. Ask. actions
  • Keep an up-to-date list of all the medications you take, including traditional medicines, and share it with your treating health workers
  • Take your medications as recommended by your health worker
  • Use the 5 Moments for Medication Safety tool to keep you safe while taking your medications
  • Be aware of the potential side-effects of your medications
  • Store your medications as indicated and check the expiration date regularly
  • Raise any concerns about your medication with your health worker

WPSD Material

WPA has launched a campaign to celebrate WPSD all over the world. Please find below the list of key activities planned for WPSD 2022:

WPSD 2022 Promotional Toolkit

Please find below the link for WPSD 2022 promotional Material.Toolkit.

World Patient Safety Day 2022 (English)

World Patient Safety Day 2022 (Spanish)

The WPSD webinar on Patient Engagement in Medication Safety

The WPA World Patient Safety Day webinar was held on 14 September, 2022. The topic was “Patient Engagement in Medication Safety,” or what patients can do to help keep themselves safe while using medications. This was in keeping with the 2022 World Patient Safety Day theme “Medication without Harm” and the long-running WHO global patient safety challenge on medication safety. Both these WHO campaigns were undertaken in acknowledgement of the fact that adverse events from medications are one of the greatest sources of patient harm in healthcare. For details click here

World Patients Safety Day Event Around the world