The Rotary Club of Galveston is concerned about the safety of patients and health care workers, more so now than ever.

To protect patients, health care organizations have focused efforts over the years on reducing medical errors, while to protect health care providers efforts have been made to expand the routine use of personal protective equipment.

Now more than ever in the shadow of COVID-19, it’s important to have an awareness and gratitude for the many front-line health care workers who’ve put their lives in jeopardy to administer patient care.

In the early days of this pandemic, health care workers were answering the call before knowing how contagious this virus truly was. In the spirit of Rotary, these health care workers demonstrate Service Above Self.

In 2019, the World Health Organization established Patient Safety Day to increase public awareness and engagement, enhance global understanding and to encourage global partnerships to promote patient safety. The unforeseen COVID-19 pandemic only underlines the importance of measures taken in 2019 by the WHO in initialing its focus on patient and health care worker safety.

According to the WHO, this pandemic has unveiled the huge challenges and risks health workers are facing globally including health care associated infections and illness, violence, stigmas, psychological and emotional disturbances and even death.

Furthermore, working within these stressful times unfortunately makes health care related patient errors more likely.

The WHO has developed this year’s theme as “Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety.” To underline safety, the WHO has assigned the safety-associated color orange to this year’s theme. The main goal of this campaign is to promote awareness for health care worker and patient safety by initiating dialogues among health care workers, patients, institutions and the public.

Due to social distancing, these meetings and dialogues are happening through Zoom or other forms of social media. But you can also play your part locally by thanking your dentist, primary care physician, chiropractor, podiatrist, nurse/practitioner, eye doctor, researcher, healer, etc., the next time you have an appointment.

Thank your caregiver and let him or her know that you’re also there for his or her health as well. Show your support to the world by lighting up a window in your home or business orange in honor of Patient Safety Day, which this year is celebrated today .

Mary Brechtel is president-elect for the Rotary Club of Galveston and a member of the Rotary International Fellowship of Doctors and Allied Health Care Professionals.

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(1) comment

David Schuler

Oh no, another "Day". When can we expect the Gala?

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