In February 2023, the fifth Global Ministerial Summit on Patient Safety was held in Montreux, Switzerland, and entailed two days of discussions among public health experts and high-level representatives about the disruptions to patient safety resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. A new commentary co-authored by One Health Trust President Ramanan Laxminarayan summarizes key takeaways from the summit in the context of the WHO Global Patient Safety Action Plan 2021-2030. The COVID-19 pandemic revealed and exacerbated safety gaps in health systems worldwide, including insufficient infection prevention and control (IPC) measures, inappropriate antibiotic prescribing, interruption of essential medical services, and healthcare staff shortages. The effects of the pandemic on existing healthcare insufficiencies posed significant safety risks to patients, increasing and introducing new sources of harm in clinical practice. Multisectoral involvement and an integrated health systems approach have proved effective in some countries’ COVID-19 response efforts and are essential to delivering safe healthcare and minimizing patient harm.

Read the full article, published in The Lancet Infectious Diseases, here.