UN health agency launches nine solutions to save patients’ lives
Since mistakes made in health care affect one out of every 10 patients in the world, the United Nations World Health Organization (WHO) today launched a new programme called “Nine patient safety solutions” to reduce the harm done to people during medical treatments.
“Implementing these solutions is a way to improve patient safety,” said WHO Director-General Margaret Chan of the nine effective methods, determined by the agency’s World Alliance for Patient Safety and the Collaborating Centre, to curtail errors made in health care.
The solutions are based on interventions and other actions taken in some countries that have reduced harm done to patients, and are aimed at redesigning the processes undertaken to care for patients and improve their safety.
The nine solutions are: look-alike, sound-alike medication names; patient identification; communication during patient hand-overs; performance of correct procedure at correct body site; control of concentrated electrolyte solutions; assuring medication accuracy at transitions in care; avoiding catheter and tubing mis-connection; single use of injection devices; and improved hand hygiene to prevent health care-associated infections.
“Patient safety is now recognized as a priority by health systems around the world,” said Liam Donaldson, who chairs the Alliance and is England’s Chief Medical Officer. “Clear and succinct actions contained in the nine solutions have proved to be useful in reducing the unacceptably high numbers of medical injuries around the world.”
Over the past year, WHO has brought together over 50 recognized leaders and experts in patient safety from around the world to identify and adapt the nine solutions to meet different needs. The solutions were tested in the field in order to gather feedback from leading patient safety organizations, Governments’ health ministries, international professional health organizations and other bodies.