From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

United Nations Agency Takes on Task of Reducing Medical Errors

The World Health Organization (WHO) launched a program in May that promotes ergonomic measures known to reduce the toll of health care errors affecting millions of patients worldwide. Health services in some countries have been able to reduce the toll, and the WHO program is based on the idea of spreading the knowledge of their successful measures globally.


Presenting the initiative, called “Nine patient safety solutions,” WHO Director-General Dr Margaret Chan pointed out that health care errors affect one in every 10 patients around the world.


Broken down, WHO figures show 1.4 million people worldwide suffer from hospital-acquired infections and one in every 136 patients in the United States becomes severely ill as a result of an infection caught in hospital.


The agency says “wrong site procedures” on the body, including errors about the side, organ, implant or person to be operated upon, are not rare, and that  communication breakdowns are the cause of many of the errors.


Experts say unsafe medical injections, with reused and unsterilised equipment are another source of fatalities. In sub-Saharan Africa as many as 18 percent of injections are given with reused syringes or unsterilised needles,  according to the WHO, increasing the risk of hepatitis and HIV.

The WHO plans to distribute