Today, patient harm due to unsafe care is a large and growing global public health challenge and is one of the leading causes of death and disability worldwide. Most of this patient harm is avoidable. As countries strive to achieve universal health coverage and the Sustainable Development Goals, the beneficial effects of improved access to health services can be undermined by unsafe care.
Patient safety incidents can cause death and disability, and suffering for victims and their families. The financial and economic costs of safety lapses are high. There is often reduced public confidence and trust in local health systems when such incidents are publicized.