World Patient Safety Day: “To Err is Human” Global Screening

| Roxanne Blanford

The most important challenge in the field of patient safety must be how to prevent harm, particularly ‘avoidable harm,’ to patients during treatment and care. All preventable errors can, and should be, avoided.

                        Patient Safety: Making health care safer. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2017. License: CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 IGO

Learn More About World Patient Safety Day

World Patient Safety Day 2019
On World Patient Safety Day (September 17, 2019) at the Ottawa Art Gallery, the Canadian Patient Safety Institute – in cooperation with CAE Healthcare – hosted an important, global livestream and in-person event to showcase the imperative of making healthcare safer and reducing patient harm worldwide.

On this day, a  free-to-view screening of the compelling patient safety documentary, "To Err is Human," was made available to a global audience.

This patient safety documentary (see the trailer here) interviews healthcare leaders, highlights real-world efforts toward safer care by exploring one family’s compelling journey from victimhood to empowerment, and presents the ongoing challenge to reduce preventable harm to patients.

Those in and around the Ottawa, Canada area were invited to attend in-person (details here). Following the screening, senior Canadian healthcare leaders (including CAE Healthcare Chief Strategic Adviser, Dr. Robert Amyot) discussed important healthcare issues facing Canadians today.

However, through the power of the worldwide web, viewers were also able to access a livestream broadcast, online, as part of the global celebration of the the first World Patient Safety Day, as established by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Patient Safety: A Worldwide Health Priority
With this first World Patient Safety Day, the objective was to provide global leadership for patient safety and to harness knowledge, expertise and innovation to improve patient safety in health care settings going forward.

Patient Risks: By the numbers

  • 2.6 million deaths occur every year all over the world, as a result of adverse healthcare events1

  • At 28,000 deaths per year in Canada, patient harm ranks third in mortality after cancer and heart disease2

  • Some estimates point to 440,000 preventable deaths occuring annually in the United States3

  • In the United Kingdom, it is estimated that one incident of patient harm is reported every 35 seconds4

  • Of the 421 million annual hospitalizations in the world, adverse events occur in approximately 42.7 million of those hospitalizations5

  • Surgical procedures account for the majority of adverse incidents (27%), followed by medication errors (18.3%) and healthcare-associated infections (12.2%)6

The slogan for the day was “Speak Up for Patient Safety.”

Patients and families were encouraged to take a more active approach to their own healthcare by speaking up, becoming more aware and getting more engaged. 

It's vital for healthcare providers, policy makers, regulatory agencies, healthcare educators, researchers, professional networks, and everyone directly and/or indirectly involved in the healthcare industry to know that they can all make a difference. 
Raising awareness of the need to formulate effective policies, to create a safer work culture, and to put the well-being of patients at the top of all concerns in healthcare are major goals of World Patient Safety Day.

Join CAE in this global campaign.

Stand with CAE Healthcare in advocating the benefits to patient safety that can be achieved by implementing innovative healthcare training and evidence-based educational solutions that advance healthcare competencies. By providing learners, training facilitators and medical professionals with the highest-in-quality of training resources, CAE believes we can  develop better clinicians, and that practical experience through risk-free simulation training (before treating real patients) is one viable way to improve healthcare and enhance patient safety.

TeamSTEPPS® for Improved Patient Care


1,2 Canadian Patient Safety Institute (CPSI), accessed online Aug 26, 2019

To Err is Human Film, accessed online Aug 20, 2019 

4,5,6 World Health Organization, Patient Safety: Making Healthcare Safer brochure, accessed online Aug 22, 2019 

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