This year’s International Patient Safety Day takes place under the motto "Medication Safety". It is supposed to raise awareness of medication errors. Members of the health care systems will be able to present new approaches and exchange ideas with each other at events on this day.
The Austrian-German-Swiss International Patient Safety Day is an initiative within the International Patient Safety Day. The organisers of the Austrian-German-Swiss joint action day are the Aktionsbündnis Patientensicherheit e. V. (Action alliance patient safety) (APS) (D), the Plattform Patientensicherheit (Patient safety platform) (A) and the Stiftung für Patientensicherheit (Patient Safety Foundation) (CH).
The organisers of this day dedicate themselves to the task of emphasizing the importance of patient safety in healthcare. This year’s motto, medication safety, is intended to create a greater awareness of the risks medication use has and to show new approaches, how they can be kept as low as possible in everyday life.
The APS is committed to strategies for preventing adverse events. Together with the international patient safety day it provides a platform for the joint commitment of all participants in healthcare.
Drugs have become indispensable in people’s life. They are necessary to cure diseases, to alleviate pain and to save lives. But incorrect use and dosage, intolerances and combined with other drugs or foods, they can also harm the patient. That’s why 5 percent of all hospital admissions are due to drug effects. Half of them could be avoided, 2 percent are fatal.
Especially elderly people are affected by adverse drug reactions (ADRs). Usually they are seriously affected by several diseases and need a poly medicamentous treatment. The more medications needed and the more complex the intake instructions are, the worse is the therapy compliance. Drugs are forgotten, confused or taken at the wrong time, which may cause side effects and harm. But even correct intake can cause interactions and side effects. These are often not recognized as such, and prescribing cascades happen, which means that more drugs are taken instead of modifying the medication. This also can happen if taking prescription free drugs is not communicated to the doctor. This leads to misdiagnosis and complications.
Therefore, a good interaction between every participant in the medication process – doctor, pharmacy, patient and his relatives – is necessary to prevent harm. Thereby knowledge of patient’s total medication represents the basis of improvement in pharmacotherapy safety.
All members of health care system are invited to participate, to bring up and to exchange their ideas. Participants shall become sensitive for the risks of medication use. In Germany, for example, nationwide campaigns such as open days, panel discussions, information and training events are planned.