On Friday 9th December 2022, health stakeholders from all over the world stood together, united in celebration of Patient Solidarity Day (PSD). This was our tenth year of running the PSD in global solidarity and national unity.
On PSD 2022, IAPO members, patients, various healthcare organizations, policy-makers, academia, institutions, industry and other stakeholders came together to call for medication safety in recognition of the prevalence of medication-related harm. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that medication harm accounts for 50% of the overall preventable harm in medical care.
Every person around the world will, at some point in their life, take medications to prevent or treat illness. However, medications sometimes cause serious harm if incorrectly stored, prescribed, dispensed, administered or if monitored insufficiently.
With medications as the most widely utilized interventions in healthcare, and medication-related harm constituting the greatest proportion of the total preventable harm due to unsafe care, PSD was a moment to urge everyone to take up safe medication practices to prevent medication errors and reduce medication-related harm.
Medication safety and Antimicrobial Resistance is a critical consideration for patients with multimorbidity and chronic conditions where they have to take a number of medicines together (polypharmacy). In keeping with our commitment to Universal Health Coverage day and Fight the Fakes week, we also highlighted that medication safety and quality medicines are the corner stones of high impact Universal Health Coverage.
Good antimicrobial resistance stewardship depends upon good medicines prescription and rational use of antibiotics by patients. This is another component of medication safety and prevention of the use of falsified and substandard medicines.
What were the key messages to advocate for PSD 2022?
1. When prescribed a medication, check with your health worker that you have all the information you need to take it safely. Follow the Know. Check. Ask. actions
2. Keep an up-to-date list of all the medications you take and share it with your treating health workers
3. Take your medications as recommended by your health worker
4. Use the 5 Moments for Medication Safety tool to keep you safe while taking your medications
5. Be aware of the potential side-effects of your medications
6. Store your medications as indicated and check the expiration date regularly
7. Raise any concerns about your medication with your health worker
8. Ensure that your health systems are free off falsified and substandard medicines (fight the fakes)
9. Ensure your medication safety strategy in your health systems includes tactics to address antimicrobial resistance.
Activity ideas for participating in PSD 2022
There are many ways to advocate for medication safety in recognition of the prevalence of medication-related harm globally. We have put together some examples of activities to give you some inspiration. These activities range from raising awareness, campaigning, through to creating opportunities for effectively engaging with key decision-makers in healthcare.
Join the IAPO PSD webinars
Use the #PSD2022, #PatientSolidarityDay2022, #MedicationSafety and #PatientSafety on social media.
Raise awareness by sharing the WHO resources on the prevalence of medication harm which accounts for 50% of the overall preventable harm in medical care. You can do so by sharing them on social media or printing them out and distributing them.
Distribute the WHO 5 Moments for Medication Safety toolkit to keep you and your community safe while taking medication.
Create a thematic issue for your organization’s newsletter focused on Patients for medication safety to prevent medication errors and reduce medication-related harm globally.
Hold an online workshop, offering opportunities for patients to speak about their own experiences with medication safety highlighting some key lessons. Share these experiences via short articles with us to promote Patients for medication safety in the delivery of safe healthcare.
Create a media strategy to spread the word on social media and engage as many people as possible in the campaign.
Take part in our Humor me into medication safety cartoon competition
We developed a range of materials and tools for you to use in your activities and plans for Patient Solidarity Day. Many of these are examples for you to adapt for your organization, country context or activity. For example, the newsletter blurb is an outline for you to use when notifying your networks and partners about the Day and about your activities, andyou have the option to include further details about your plans and background about your work. Please feel free to download and use all of the materials in your work, or to translate them to your local language to strengthen your activities on Patient Solidarity Day.
Materials for you to use
We hope you find these materials helpful in spreading the news about Patient Solidarity Day and your organization and activities!
Key asks for PSD 2022
Certain actions by the patient or caregiver can greatly reduce the risk of harm associated with the use of their medication/s. PSD will be a moment to urge everyone to take up safe medication practices to prevent medication errors and reduce medication-related harm.