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World Patient Safety Day

Health worker safety is patient safety

Published : 17 Sep 2020, 00:42

Updated : 17 Sep 2020, 09:23

  DF Report

Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru. File Photo Finnish government by Laura Kotila.

World Patient Safety Day will be observed in Finland as elsewhere in the globe on Thursday.

In Finland, patient and client safety will be made visible by organising events and lighting up landmarks in orange colour, said the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health in a press release.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared 17 September as World Patient Safety Day.

The aim of the day is to increase awareness about patient and client safety. This year’s theme, Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety, is closely linked to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ensuring the safety and protection of health workers is also a way to guarantee patient and client safety during the pandemic. Health worker safety is also strengthened by ensuring sufficient skills and good management, for example.

“Finland has a high-quality healthcare system and well-educated personnel. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the work of personnel in healthcare and social welfare units has been even more demanding than before,… Health worker safety cannot be separated from patient and client safety as it is one of the basic pillars of patient and client safety,” said Minister of Family Affairs and Social Services Krista Kiuru.

World Patient Safety Day will bring together patients, clients and their families, healthcare and social welfare workers and leaders, researchers, policy-makers and representatives of the private sector to show their commitment to patient and client safety.

Research and knowledge are essential for promoting patient and client safety. Perhaps the most important issue is, however, that everyone pays attention to safety and does their part to promote it.

“We hope that all service users would stop to think how they could contribute to improving patient and client safety. Even small actions count. For example, it is helpful to keep an up-to-date list of medication and prepare for a healthcare visit by making notes,” said Centre for Patient Safety Improvement Senior Specialist Tarja Pajunen.

Many healthcare and social welfare operators will organise events for their employees and the general public on 17 September.

For example, a joint hand hygiene campaign will be launched in the City of Kuopio and Central Finland; in Kymenlaakso, events will be organised for residents throughout the week; and in Kainuu, the babies born on World Patient Safety Day will be given a pair of orange socks.