Home > Minister for Health marks World Patient Safety Day.

[Department of Health] Minister for Health marks World Patient Safety Day. (17 Sep 2022)

External website: https://www.gov.ie/en/press-release/5c6f3-minister...

Minister for Health Stephen Donnelly has today marked World Patient Safety Day 2022 (Saturday, 17 September 2022). Ireland continues to support this international initiative, led by the World Health Organization which focuses on raising awareness and ensuring that patient safety is established as a global health priority. The theme this year is ‘Medication Without Harm’. This campaign encourages and empowers patients, their caregivers and healthcare professionals to take an active role in ensuring safer medicine practices and medication use processes including prescription, preparation, dispensing, administration and monitoring.

Minister Donnelly stated: "I am delighted to mark and promote this year’s World Patient Safety Day on the theme of Medication Without Harm. Safe and appropriate use of medication allows and empowers patients to live longer, healthier lives, benefiting them, their families and society. The use of the right medication at the right time in the right way by the right patient is one of the most effective health care interventions available."

Chief Nursing Officer, Rachel Kenna added: "This campaign encourages all clinicians and patients to prioritise and take early action in key areas associated with potential for improving medication issues. These include high risk situations, transitions of care, polypharmacy and look-alike, sound-alike medications. All healthcare professionals, patients and their families have a role to play in improving medication safety and this should be a priority for everyone receiving and providing care within the health care service. An organisational culture that routinely implements best practices and quality improvements in respect of medication safety provides a supportive environment for safe, high-quality care."

Dr Orla Healy, National Clinical Director, Quality and Patient Safety Directorate, Health Service Executive said: "We know that at least half of medication-related harm is potentially preventable. Our HSE National Medication Safety Programme works with patients and healthcare professionals to reduce harm associated with medicines or their omission. The ‘Know Check Ask’ medication safety campaign, for example, encourages people who use regular medicines to know more about their medicines and to ask their pharmacist, doctor or nurse if they have questions. One very useful, practical step for people is to keep an up-to-date list of their medicines and to take it to all healthcare appointments. For more on our National QPS Directorate World Patient Safety Day events and initiatives, visit our website at https://www.hse.ie/eng/about/who/nqpsd/."

About World Patient Safety Day
World Patient Safety Day is part of a World Health Organization (WHO) global campaign to raise awareness and ensure that patient safety is established as a global health priority. It was established in 2019 to enhance global understanding of patient safety, increase public engagement in the safety of healthcare and promote global actions to enhance patient safety and reduce patient harm. World Patient Safety Day 2022 theme is Medication without Harm and asks stakeholders to prioritise and take early action in keys areas associated with significant harm due to unsafe medication practices. The WHO state that unsafe medication practices and medication errors are a leading cause of avoidable harm across the world. Medication errors occur when weak medication systems and human factors such as fatigue, poor environmental conditions and staff shortages affect the safety of the medication use process. This can result in severe patient harm, disability and even death. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has significantly exacerbated the risk of medication errors and associated medication-related harm.

The National Medication Safety Programme is one of the priority safety programmes within the HSE’s National Quality and Patient Safety Directorate. The programme works with patients and healthcare providers to reduce medication-related harm. One of the key focuses for the programme is the Know Check Ask campaign. In this, the HSE partners with patients, families and carers to Know your medicine, Check the details and Ask; communicate with your healthcare professionals about medicines and your queries. The key action is to keep a medicines list and use it to aid communication at appointments and admissions. Resources and suggestions on how to maximise the impact of this campaign are available on the HSE website. Support is also available by email: safermeds@hse.ie

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