WORLD PATIENT SAFETY DAY 2022 | Medication Without Harm: Know. Check. Ask.

 Each one of us, wherever we may live in the world, at some point in our lives, will take medications to prevent or treat illness. Medications sometimes, though, can provoke serious harm if stored, prescribed, dispensed or administered incorrectly or if monitored insufficiently.

Indeed, medication harm accounts for 50% of the overall preventable harm in medical care. The World Health Organization (WHO) also estimates that 42 billion US dollars of global total health expenditure worldwide can be avoided if medication errors are prevented.

Acknowledging this substantial burden and recognizing the complexity of medication-related harm prevention and reduction, the theme of World Patient Safety Day 2022, marked annually on September 17, is “Medication Safety”.

The 2022 Campaign:

The global campaign reaffirms the objectives of the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm launched by WHO in 2017. The campaign calls on stakeholders to prioritize and take early action in key areas associated with significant patient harm due to unsafe medication practices. These include high-risk situations, transitions of care, polypharmacy (concurrent use of multiple medications) and look-alike, sound-alike medications. The campaign will provide a special focus on the implications of the COVID-19 pandemic for medication safety, considering the serious disruption in the provision of health services.


Objectives of World Patient Safety Day 2022:

  1. RAISE global awareness of the high burden of medication-related harm due to medication errors and unsafe practices, and ADVOCATE urgent action to improve medication safety.
  2. ENGAGE key stakeholders and partners in the efforts to prevent medication errors and reduce medication-related harm.
  3. EMPOWER patients and families to be actively involved in the safe use of medication.
  4. SCALE UP implementation of the WHO Global Patient Safety Challenge: Medication Without Harm.


Join the Action:

WHO is encouraging organisations, individuals and other key stakeholders to participate in World Patient Safety Day 2022 and asks that they:

WHO is proposing a wide range of activities on and around 17 September 2022, including national campaigns, policy forums, advocacy and technical events, capacity-building initiatives and, as in previous years, lighting up iconic monuments, landmarks and public places in orange  – the signature mark of the campaign!





IAPO’s Campaign – Humor Me Into Medication Safety


To mark World Patient Safety Day (WPSD) 2022 and in support of WHO’s 5 moments for medication safety, the International Alliance of Patients’ Organizations (IAPO) is launching the “Humour me into medication safety” cartoons highlighting the 5 moments for medication safety – a patient engagement tool focusing on the key moments where action by the patient or caregiver can reduce the risk of harm associated with the use of medications. It aims to engage and empower patients to be involved in their own care through collaboration with health professionals.

These cartoons were specially designed to encourage dialogue on social media on how we can all reduce the risk of harm associated with the use of medications. IAPO invites everyone to share them using the hashtag #Humour in #medicationsafety and #WPSD2022. At the end of September the social media post with the best caption will be awarded a prize of USD $500.

Download the Cartoons


Medication Without Harm: Fostering Medication Safety in Hospitals’ webinar

This year, in recognition and support of the WHO’s World Patient Safety Day 2022, the European Health Management Association (EHMA) and the International Alliance of Patient Organisations (IAPO) have joined forces to host a one-hour webinar to raise awareness of medication safety in hospitals.

In this webinar will learn how patient harm from medication can occur if medication is incorrectly stored, prescribed, dispensed, administered or if monitored insufficiently. Attendees will hear from patient representatives and hospitals managers on how harm to patients from medication can be reduced throughempower patients and implementing shared responsibility, innovative tools and cultures of safety.

Register Here


Additional Resources: 

Target audience Key messages
Policy-makers and programme managers
  • Ensure medication safety is addressed at all levels and in all settings in the health care system
  • Assess the burden of medication-related harm in your country
  • Integrate medication safety into every stage of patient care
  • Co-design and implement medication safety programmes with stakeholders, including patients and public
  • Establish a patient safety incident reporting and learning system, including medication safety incidents (medication errors and related harm)
  • Monitor progress and evaluate the impact of medication safety programmes
  • Launch Know. Check. Ask. as the medication safety campaign across the country
Health care leaders and facility managers
  • Designate a focal point and a multidisciplinary team to develop processes to ensure medication safety in your facility
  • Develop and implement standard operating procedures for safe medication use, taking into account the risk of human error
  • Make sure there are sufficient staff to cover patients’ medication needs
  • Provide opportunities to train health workers on safe medication use
  • Operationalize a patient safety incident reporting and learning system, including medication safety incidents (medication errors and related harm)
  • Create a safety culture where health workers are able to raise safety concerns related to medications
  • Prioritize action in areas where most medication-related harm occurs, such as high-risk situations, transitions of care and polypharmacy
  • Put in place strategies to reduce the risk of medication errors, such as double-checking, patient engagement and using information technology to improve processes
Health workers
  • Keep your skills in safe medication practices up to date
  • Engage patients through shared decision-making using tools such as the 5 Moments for Medication Safety and implement actions related to the Know. Check. Ask. campaign
  • Provide clear and full medication-related information to all members of the clinical team throughout the process of care
  • Report medication safety incidents, and share and apply lessons learned with your team and patients when possible
  • Be mindful of situations where risk from medications is high and ensure safety measures are followed
  • Mentor new members of your team on safe medication systems and practices
Patients, families and general public
  • 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
  • Keep an up-to-date list of all the medications you take, including traditional medicines, and share it with your treating health workers
  • Take your medications as recommended by your health worker
  • Use the 5 Moments for Medication Safety tool to keep you safe while taking your medications
  • Be aware of the potential side-effects of your medications
  • Store your medications as indicated and check the expiration date regularly
  • Raise any concerns about your medication with your health worker

The 2022 Campaign materials and logos can be found HERE.

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