Patient safety


WHO Patient Safety works to ensure that patient safety measures and solutions can be implemented in a variety of health-care settings worldwide. Our work on implementation ranges from providing guidelines for national and subnational patient safety reporting & learning systems, to solutions to common patient safety issues. Details on all of these are available below.

  • Reporting and learning systems
    WHO Draft Guidelines for Adverse Event Reporting and Learning Systems is designed to help countries develop or improve reporting and learning systems in order to improve the safety of patient care.
  • Technology
    Identifying and clarifying the role and objectives of technology in improving patient safety, both in the developed and developing world.
  • High 5s
    Addressing safety problems through implementing standardised solutions and measuring progress in 9 countries worldwide.
  • Antimicrobial resistance
    Over several decades, bacteria causing common infections have developed resistance to each new antibiotic, and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) has evolved to become a worldwide health threat.
  • Patient safety checklists
    The purpose of a checklist is to detect a potential error before it leads to harm. Building on the WHO Surgical Safety Checklist, additional patient care checklists are being developed for safe childbirth, trauma and Pandemic H1N1 2009 care.
  • Hand hygiene implementation tools
    Resources and tools on the importance of hand hygiene, the "My 5 Moments for Hand Hygiene" approach and the correct procedures for handrubbing and handwashing.
  • Surgical safety implementation tools
    Tools to help health-care professionals improve the safety of surgical care for their patients by ensuring adherence to proven standards of care.
  • Global pulse oximetry
    Working to develop affordable, robust pulse oximetry devices for operating rooms in the developing world.