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Facts on Patient Safety

The World Health Organization (WHO) released a “Patient Safety Fact File” and noted that patient safety is a serious worldwide concern and it is estimated that “the risk of death occurring due to preventable medical accident, while receiving health care, is estimated to be 1 in 300” (WHO, 2019).

The report includes ten facts:

  1. One in every 10 patients is harmed while receiving hospital care
  2. The occurrence of adverse events due to unsafe care is likely one of the 10 leading causes of death and disability across the world
  3. Four out of every 10 patients are harmed in primary and outpatient health care
  4. At least 1 out of every 7 Canadian dollars is spent treating the effects of patient harm in-hospital care
  5. Investment in patient safety can lead to significant financial savings
  6. Unsafe medication practices and medication errors harm millions of patients and costs billions of US dollars every year
  7. Inaccurate or delayed diagnosis is one of the most common causes of patient harm and affects millions of patients
  8. Hospital infections affect up to 10 out of every 100 hospitalized patients
  9. More than 1 million patients die annually from complications due to surgery
  10. Medical exposure to radiation is a public health and patient safety concern

(WHO, 2019)

To read about the details of these facts and correlation studies check out the WHO here.

WHO. (2019). Patient Safety Fact File. Retrieved from