17 September marks the World Patient Safety Day, as established by the 72nd World Health Assembly, in May 2019, with the adoption of resolution WHA72.6 on ‘Global action on patient safety’. This day has been established to raise global awareness about patient safety and call for action to reduce patient harm.
This year’s theme, Engaging Patients for Patient Safety, aims to highlight the vital role that patients, families and caregivers play in the safety of health care. Indeed, treating patients as partners in their own care generates significant gains in their safety, satisfaction and health outcomes.
With the slogan “Elevate the Voice of Patients”, WHO aims to:
- Raise global awareness of the need for active engagement of patients and their families and caregivers in all settings and at all levels of health care to improve patient safety.
- Engage policymakers, healthcare leaders, health and care workers, patients’ organizations, civil society and other stakeholders in efforts to engage patients and families in the policies and practices for safe health care.
- Empower patients and families to be actively involved in their own health care and in the improvement of safety of health care.
- Advocate for urgent action on patient and family engagement, aligned with the Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021–2030, to be taken by all partners.
Patient safety and quality care are paramount health policy priorities and should continue to remain as such. Every European patient deserves the best possible healthcare. In this regard, the EFN truly believes in:
- Patients’ Rights in Healthcare need to be strengthened by implementing a patient-centred approach;
- Appropriate staffing levels and better management of staff workloads should be just as important as hand hygiene and environmental cleanliness in the battle to recognise and prevent the causes of healthcare associated infections;
- High Quality of Care and Safety Standards throughout the EU are essential to make progress.
From a nurses’ perspective, it is crucial that the EU Institutions and the national governments take adequate actions to protect the most vulnerable: to support the frontline health professionals that provide direct patient care, including recognising the added value of the nursing profession to the healthcare sector, to improve nurses’ salaries, working conditions, and ensure safe levels of staffing delivering good quality care and patient safety.
For concluding, the EFN believes that the patient is a crucial actor for Patient Safety, but there is no safety and quality without engaging the frontline nurses!