WHO unveils nine patient safety solutions

May 7, 2007

The Patient Safety Solutions address the issues of: look-alike, sound-alike medication names; correct patient identification; handover communications; correct procedure at the correct body site; control of concentrated electrolyte solutions; medication accuracy; catheter and tubing misconnections; needle reuse and injection device safety; and hand hygiene.

The World Health Organization in collaboration with the Joint Commission unveiled nine solutions designed to prevent healthcare errors. The Patient Safety Solutions address the issues of: look-alike, sound-alike medication names; correct patient identification; handover communications; correct procedure at the correct body site; control of concentrated electrolyte solutions; medication accuracy; catheter and tubing misconnections; needle reuse and injection device safety; and hand hygiene. The intention of the solutions is to guide the redesign of care processes to prevent human errors from reaching patients. "The solutions that we have issued address the prevention of a substantial portion of the injuries and avoidable deaths experienced in hospitals," said Dennis O'Leary, M.D., president of the Joint Commission. O'Leary noted that safety improvements almost always require the challenging redesign of patient care processes. "These solutions have been framed as road maps to care-process redesign for their eventual users."

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