world map in medication

World Patient Safety Day- Don’t be hasty, it’s about medication safety!

World Patient Safety Day is observed annually on the 17th of September. It is an initiative started by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2019, with a new theme each year. This year’s theme is medication safety, as unsafe medication practises are one of the leading causes of unnecessary harm in health care.1 There are numerous reasons why errors with medication safety occur such as human inaccuracy, staff shortages, environmental conditions, and poor medication dispensation systems.2 The implications of medication safety issues can range from mild to severe, such as harm to the patient, disability, and mortality.2


The objective of World Patient Safety Day 2022 is to:

  • Raise global awareness of the high burden of medication-related harm due to medication errors.
  • Engage stakeholders and partners in the efforts to prevent medication mistakes and reduce medication-related harm.
  • Empower patients and families to be actively involved in the safe use of medication.
  • Scale up implementation of the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication without harm.1

Why is medication safety so important?

It is estimated that in Australia, between 2-3% of all hospital admissions are medication-related, costing at least $1.2 billion per year.3 In extreme cases, misuse of medications can lead to death. The initiative taken by WHO is to educate the wider community about safe practises with medication consumption, storage, and dosage.2 The vast number of errors occur when medication is dispensed outside of a medical setting i.e., a caregiver or patient themselves. Medication error has increased with the COVID-19 pandemic, often leaving hospitals short staffed and under pressure leading to incorrect medication being dispensed, transcription errors and wrong dosages being administered.2 Australia’s response to the WHO campaign ‘Medication Without Harm’ aims to reduce medication errors, adverse drug events and medication related hospital admissions by 50%, by 2025.4 The campaign has been modified to align with the Australian context:

    • Monitoring polypharmacy abuse
    • Reducing harm from high-risk medicines
    • Improving medication safety at transitions of care
Check your medication image

Antimicrobial stewardship, what is it?

Antimicrobial stewardship aims to improve how antibiotics are prescribed by healthcare professionals and used by patients.5 The overuse of antibiotics, misuse, or incorrect use of antibiotics contributes an increase in resistant bacteria which causes a cascade of events such as recurrent infection, ineffective treatment, delay in recovery, and even mortality.6 Clinical microbiology laboratories play a critical role in any antimicrobial stewardship program by providing accurate antimicrobial susceptibility results which are part of cascade reporting or primary, secondary, and tertiary-line antibiotics for use.7

To assist with antimicrobial stewardship, Clever Culture Systems has developed the APAS-AMR project which utilises smart imaging to accurately read and interpret Antimicrobial Susceptibility Tests (ASTs) using disc diffusion.8 The APAS-AMR technology is revolutionary as it accurately detects antimicrobial resistance, reducing the 14% error rate of traditional methods. The APAS-AMR technology will be deployed using the FDA cleared APAS Independence which provides high volume throughput and timely reporting of results.8

How to get involved?

There are several events throughout the week leading up to the 17th of September 2022 to participate in. To help spread global awareness, monuments around the world are illuminated in the colour orange such as the Jet d’Eau fountain in Switzerland.1 In addition, the WHO will be organising a series of webinars on medication safety and providing several medication safety solutions.1 Your institution can also get involved by wearing the colour orange on the day and share their involvement on social media by using hashtags #WorldPatientSafetyDay and slogan “Medication Without Harm”.9

1 World Health Organisation, 2022. World Patient Safety Day 2022. World Health Organisation [Accessed 11 July 2022]. Available here

2 World Health Organisation, 2022. Announcing World Patient Safety Day 2022. World Health Organisation [Accessed 22 July 2022]. Available here

3 ACSQHC, 2017. Australia joins international push to halve medication errors. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care [Accessed 28 July 2022]. Available here

4 ACSQHC, 2020. WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge – Medication without harm. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care [Accessed 11 July 2022]. Available here.

5 Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, 2022. Core Elements of Antibiotic Stewardship. Centres for Disease Control and Prevention [Accessed 30 August 2022]. Available here.

6 Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care, 2022. Antimicrobial stewardship. Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care [Accessed 30 August 2022]. Available here.

7 National Centre for Antimicrobial Stewardship, 2022. Antimicrobial Stewardship. NCAS [Accessed 31 August 2022]. Available here.

8 LBT Innovations, 2022. APAS-AMR Analysis Module. LBT Innovations [Accessed 31 August 2022]. Available here.

9 World Health Organisation, 2022. Plan your own campaign. [Accessed 4 August 2022]. Available here.


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