September 16, 2022


World Patient Safety Day was established for the first time on September 17, 2019 by the World Health Assembly1. This celebration aims to raise further awareness and participation of society, expand knowledge worldwide and encourage solidarity and action to promote patient safety globally.

In line with this approach, a specific theme is highlighted each year to be emphasised in order to reduce avoidable harm to patients and in pursuit of international health coverage. In addition, the Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-20302 has been developed with the mission to Drive policies, strategies and actions, based on science, patient experience and partnerships, to eliminate sources of avoidable risk and harm to patients and healthcare workers.

Past World Patient Safety Day objectives

  • 2019: to raise awareness of the importance of patient safety and to encourage citizens to demonstrate their commitment to this cause under the slogan “Speak out for patient safety”3.
  • 2020: again affected by the pandemic context due to COVID-19, the campaign focused on the issue of healthcare workers’ safety as a basic pillar to ensure patient safety; as stated in “Healthcare Workers’ Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety”4.
  • 2021: emphasis was placed on the significant burden of harm caused to women and newborns who are provided with maternal and child care that is not without risk, especially at the time of delivery when most of the harm is caused. This is particularly important given the disruption to health services caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which has exacerbated this problem. “Safe Maternal and Neonatal Care”5.

World Patient Safety Day objectives of 2022

For 2022, the theme of the campaign is medication safety under the slogan “Medication without harm”, bearing in mind that everyone in their lifetime will take medication to treat or prevent a health problem. However, sometimes medicines can cause serious harm if they are not stored properly, if they are prescribed or taken incorrectly, or if they are not sufficiently monitored.

The following are the objectives6 that make up this year’s campaign established by the WHO (World Health Organisation):

  • RAISE global awareness of the high burden of medication-related harm due to medication errors and unsafe practices, and ADVOCATE for urgent action to improve medication safety.
  • INVOLVE key stakeholders and partners in efforts to prevent medication errors and reduce related harms.
  • EMPOWER patients and families to actively participate in the safe use of medicines.
  • EXPAND the implementation of the Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication without harm.

World Patient Safety Day campaign video: September 17, 2022.


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