Right on target – why better patient safety is a global goal for 2030

The United Nation’s seventeen sustainable development goals (SDGs) came into force in 2016. The set of goals is targeted for achievement by 2030 and involves targets such as improving food security and sustainably managing forests worldwide. Although all the SDGs are equally important, the coronavirus pandemic has brought one sharply into focus. That is SDG 3, which is dedicated to good health and wellbeing, ‘ensuring healthy lives and good wellbeing for all ages’.

In order to promote better health on a global scale, SDG 3 has its own set of targets, ranging from halving the number of deaths and injuries from road accidents to improving the retention of healthcare workers in developing countries. Patient safety – a discipline centred on reducing patient harm in clinical settings, is also addressed by SDG 3, under target 3.8.  This stresses the need for safe, high quality healthcare.

In fact, it could be argued that patient safety is critical for ensuring the effectiveness of the UN’s other healthcare goals. How can deaths be reduced from water-borne diseases, or illnesses from hazardous chemicals, if patients are at risk of being harmed whilst in the hospitals or clinics designed to treat them? The importance of patient safety has been highlighted heavily in a World Health Organisation document published in 2019, which said that poor patient care is one of the top ten causes of death worldwide, with as many as four in ten patients harmed whilst receiving primary or outpatient care.

Although these findings may seem frightening, there is strong evidence to suggest that patient safety can be improved. Up to 80% harm is preventable, occurring from often unchanging themes such as medication errors, poor communication between care providers or unsafe surgical procedures. With the help of intelligent technology these themes and their risk factors can be detected and shared across healthcare organisations, helping healthcare staff to implement focused changes and improve the wellbeing of their patients. That is why we have developed Eva, a patient safety investigation application.  Eva not only helps people to carry out investigations, but by logging common factor and learning, will enable organisations to learn from things going wrong, and – most importantly – put things right.

To learn more about Eva, please do not hesitate to get in contact by calling 020 7494 5676 or emailing [email protected].

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