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First-Ever World Patient Safety Day Announced for September 17

The World Health Organization has declared September 17, 2019, as World Patient Safety Day.

The World Health Organization’s World Patient Safety Day will feature well over 100 events worldwide, bringing attention to their campaign (see below for U.S. events).

Keeping patients safe in healthcare settings is an ongoing challenge that calls for creative and concerted action from healthcare organizations, professionals, and patients. The WHO created this special day as an effective way to draw attention to the topic.

HEPACART was founded to produce and sell equipment that cleans dust and pathogens from the air, creating a safer environment for patients and healthcare workers. That’s why we feel it is important to get the word out about World Patient Safety Day, which is about prioritizing patient safety and eliminating healthcare-associated infections.

Why Create Patient Safety Day?

According to the WHO, 15% of hospital expenses go to treating patient safety failures in OECD countries, which are mostly developed countries with high-income economies, including the United States. Seven out of 100 hospitalized patients suffer from healthcare-associated infections (HAI) in high-income countries, and ten out of 100 in low- and middle-income countries, according to this WHO patient safety report.

Why Create Patient Safety Day

So although the statistics show a bigger problem in lower-income countries, patient safety in hospitals is a significant issue everywhere, and recognition of that led to the emergence of patient safety as a discipline. Increasing complexity in health care systems resulted in more opportunities for patient harm. Something had to be done.

Since it's unrealistic to demand flawless performance from human beings, it became clear that the key to improvement is nurturing an open environment in which a prevailing safety culture emerges, which in turn enables the development of error-proof systems and processes.

According to a report that estimated patient harms associated with hospital care, in North Carolina, where 96% of hospitals enrolled in a national patient safety campaign, there was a markedly lower rate of serious or lethal adverse events than in hospitals from other states.

Get Involved: Patient Safety Events

World Patient Safety Day marks the launch of a global awareness campaign urging people to show their commitment to making health care safer. Here are patient safety events scheduled around the United States to take place on September 17, 2019 (to see events in Canada and the rest of the world, go to the World Patient Safety Day page).


Irvine, California - University of California, Irvine (UCI) will be hosting a full-day working meeting to bring together one hundred global stakeholders across healthcare for an intimate examination and discussion about how to continue planning for ZERO preventable deaths in hospitals.

Baltimore, Maryland - At the University of Maryland Medical System in Baltimore, Maryland, USA, a weeklong event will take place marked by a survey on patient safety culture in primary and outpatient care offices within the 34 sites of the medical system. Nearly 400 participants will take part including managers, providers, and staff. The goal is to raise provider and staff awareness about patient safety, assess the current status of patient safety culture, identify areas for improvement, examine trends, and establish initiatives.

Boston, Massachusetts - The Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) is joining the WHO and other leading organizations around the world to recognize World Patient Safety Day. Visit IHI's website to learn more about how you can speak up for patient safety and ensure “health care for the better.”

Boston, Massachusetts - Members of the National Steering Committee for Patient Safety, being led by IHI and many other partners, will take part in a panel discussion about the progress made to date in patient safety, challenges that remain, and the focus areas of the Committee’s work. This podcast will be recorded in Boston on September 17 and will be available to all globally on September 19.

Baltimore, Maryland - The Johns Hopkins Hospital Dome will be illuminated orange for World Patient Safety Day. Additionally, communications are planned for a wide range of in-person, online, print, and social media presentations.

Harrisburg, Pennsylvania - The Patient Safety Authority will launch a brand new journal dedicated to patient safety on World Patient Safety Day. The open-access journal, Patient Safety, will be available online at patientsafetyj.com.

Sandy Springs, Georgia - Emory Saint Joseph’s Hospital has organized the lighting of the Concourse Center in observance of World Patient Safety Day.

Long Island, New York - Pulse Center for Patient Safety Education & Advocacy works to educate patients and their families on how they can be a part of the patient safety solution. For World Patient Safety Day, they will be asking business owners to “take the pledge.” This includes maintaining a list of current medications with your providers, keeping a list of medical history, creating a list of symptoms and questions for doctor's visits, creating an advanced directive, and developing support systems to help advocate for your care.

HEPACART'S Role in Improving Patient Safety

About 1,000 preventable deaths occur every day from medical error in the United States, as we mentioned in our Patient Safety Awareness week post earlier this year. Further, roughly 99,000 deaths result each year from an estimated 1.7 million healthcare-associated infections or HAIs. Some of those infections are acquired simply by breathing.

We strongly support efforts to raise public awareness of patient safety as the WHO is doing with World Patient Safety Day. Our own role in improving patient safety is to provide the equipment that protects patients from dust and pathogens in healthcare and other high-risk environments.

The Germbuster 5000 is a portable unit that can be rolled into any indoor space to disinfect the air in a room, reducing the viral load to non-infectious levels. It combines the sterilization capabilities of Far-UV Sterilray with a powerful HEPA-filter to provide extremely effective infection control outcomes. The Germbuster 5000 kills pathogens like influenza and the measles on a single pass, and the exhausted air that cycles through is 99.99% clean.

To read about other tools and techniques that clean the air to protect patients and staff, see 4 Ways to Control Airborne Contamination in Healthcare Settings.

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