WHO GLOBAL ACTION PLAN ON PATIENT SAFETY: the impact on primary care level

Viviana Martinez-Bianchi

Keywords: Patient Safety, Primary Care, Action Plan, WHO

Introduction:
The 74th World Health Assembly adopted in May 2021 the "Global Action Plan on Patient Safety 2021-2030" (GAPPS) to enhance patient safety as an essential component in the design, procedures, and performance evaluation of health systems worldwide. It is a strategic plan that guides country governments, health sector entities, health organisations and the World Health Organization secretariat on how to implement the Assembly's resolution on patient safety. Deployment of the plan will strengthen the quality and safety of health systems worldwide by covering the entire continuum of people's health care, from diagnosis to treatment and care, reducing the likelihood of harm during care.

Method:
The Action Plan is organized in 7 strategic objectives with 35 strategic actions which have to be implemented by 4 actors with different roles: countries, stakeholders, healthcare facilities and the WHO Secretariat. The guiding principles reflect the working style on improving patient safety and include: 1) Engage patients and families as partners in safe care, 2) Achieve results through collaborative working, 3) Analyse data to generate learning, 4) Translate evidence into measurable improvement, 5) Base policies and action on the nature of the care setting, 6) Use both scientific expertise and patient experience to improve safety, 7) Instil safety culture in the design and delivery of health care.

Results:
We present the challenges for primary care facilities for implementing the plan regarding the 7 strategic objectives: 1. Policies to eliminate avoidable harm in healthcare; 2. High reliability systems; 3. Safety of clinical procedures; 4. Patient and family engagement; 5. Health worker education, skills and safety; 6. Information, research and risk management; 7. Synergies, partnerships and solidarity.

Conclusions:
The deployment of the Global Action Plan on Patient Safety 2021-2030 in primary care is therefore a high-priority health policy action.

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