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Global patient safety guidelines released

The World Health Organisation will unveil new guidelines devised by an Australian academic at tomorrow’s launch.

Guidelines developed in Australia to keep medical patients safe while undergoing treatment are being adopted by health workers around the world.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) is launching the guidelines devised by the University of Sydney's professor of medical education, Merrilyn Walton on Wednesday, 19th.

The guidelines were drawn up to help educate all health workers from doctors and nurses through to physiotherapists avoid making mistakes which may harm or result in the death of patients.

They are designed to stop mistakes being made with medication doses, miscommunication with patients and delays in treatment.

Walton, who used to head the Health Care Complaints Commission, said while much attention had been focused in recent years on patient safety, the only way it could improve was through educating health workers.

"There's evidence that we have known since 1995 that up to 15 per cent of patients who go into hospital will suffer adverse events," she said.

"When patients suffer harm as a result of their health care, the whole system is responsible.

"But you can't expect them to change by just telling them to change. You have to provide the curriculum."

The new WHO guidelines are due to be launched in Manilla on Wednesday.


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