Patient safety

The Launch of the World Alliance for Patient Safety

"Please do me no harm"

27 October 2004


The World Health Organization (WHO) and its partners announced a series of key actions to cut the number of illnesses, injuries and deaths suffered by patients during health care, with the launch of the World Alliance for Patient Safety. Ministers of health and senior officials, academics, patients' groups and WHO representatives came together from all corners of the globe to advance the patient safety goal of "First do no harm" and reduce the adverse health and social consequences of unsafe health care.

The launch meeting, which took place at the Pan American Health Organization in Washington , DC, was organized around a series of keynote speeches. The meeting, encouraged participants to strengthen common action for integration of patient safety issues in national health policy and practice that would lead to much greater long-term safety in health care. Progress made at regional levels was described by WHO Regional Directors.

The meeting heard that the World Alliance for Patient Safety aims to deliver six major action areas during 2005-2006:

  • Global Patient Safety Challenge focusing on health care associated infection;
  • Patients for Patient Safety involving patient oranizations and individuals in Alliance work;
  • International Classification for Patient Safety ensuring consistency in the concepts, principles, norms and terminology used in Patient Safety work;
  • Research for Patient Safety developing a rapid assessment tool for use in developing countries and undertaking prevalence studies of adverse effects;
  • Solutions for Patient Safety promoting existing interventions in patient safety and coordinating international efforts to develop solutions.
  • Reporting and learning generating best practice guidelines.

Forward programme 2005

World Alliance for Patient Safety


Launch documents

Launch programme