Apr 7, 2009

World Health Day 2009

World Health Day is a global initiative led by the World Health Organization (WHO) and this year, World Health Day focuses on the safety of health facilities and the readiness of emergency workers in the face of disaster and emergencies. That's a WOOT for safety getting international recognition!

With sudden natural disasters such as the recent earthquake in Italy and the great tragedies of Hurricane Katrina, the earthquakes in Sichuan, and the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia all in recent memory, it is essential that health care facilities are both prepared to handle these crises and can handle things safely.

On the WHO World Health Day page, it says:

"This year, WHO and international partners are underscoring the importance of investing in health infrastructure that can withstand hazards and serve people in immediate need. They are also urging health facilities to implement systems to respond to internal emergencies, such as fires, and ensure the continuity of care."

While World Health Day 2009 focuses specifically on ensuring safety in an emergency context and ensuring health care facilities are prepared in light of emergencies, what kinds of patient safety and quality improvement interventions should be considered when designing safe and rapid response systems?

To read more about World Health Day 2009 background and activities, click here!

Also, take an IHI Open School Patient Safety Course to learn more about patient safety in hospital systems. Click here to start! What elements of the course are most important in an emergency setting?

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