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Rising to the challenge of patient safety in a new era

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1 PROFILE Health Europa Quarterly 14 www.healtheuropa.eu C urrently the world is in crisis – a global health security crisis. Often the default response is to focus on innovation or reinventing existing solutions to meet a potential catastrophe. While this may be the norm, it is not the only answer. Instead, we can look to what exists and what solutions are available that, if slightly adjusted, adopted properly, combined, and administered, will result in the tools and vision to see us through the current dilemma. Back in 2005, the World Health Organization's (WHO) International Health Regulations― regulations meant to improve and strengthen a country's public health response to threats of disease and thereby help ensure healthcare capacities and security―had yet to be adopted. Earlier, in 2003, the global economy had suffered a $30bn loss due to Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS). And 2009 marked the battle with the novel influenza A (H1N1) that resulted in more than 201,000 respiratory deaths and an additional 83,300 cardiovascular deaths, for a total of more than 284,500 attributed deaths. 1 We have known for a long time that the ease of global travel would make controlling a rapidly moving and contagious pathogen incredibly difficult, and that zoonotic infectious diseases are estimated to account for 60% of all human diseases and 75% of all emerging infectious diseases, according to researchers. 2 Through these examples, we as a global community have knowledge of how important it is to prevent, surveil, detect, and respond to infectious diseases. Governments have recognised their national security is compromised by emerging pathogens and evolving antimicrobial resistance, threatening the safety and lives of their citizens and—as we have witnessed with COVID- 19—global destabilisation of economies. Rising to the challenge of patient safety in a new era Proactive patient safety and risk prevention are key to helping healthcare organisations surveil and mitigate global and local risks

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