BALTIMORE(September 16, 2020) – Today, member organizations of the University of Maryland Medical System will join the World Health Organization’s World Patient Safety Day (WPSD) movement to recognize patient safety issues as a global health priority.  This year’s theme for WPSD is “Health Worker Safety: A Priority for Patient Safety”.

Observing WPSD, UMMS is highlighting the importance of keeping healthcare workers safe and promoting patient safety, two issues critically important especially during the time of the global COVID-19 pandemic. A significant focus during COVID-19 is encouraging and reminding individuals to wear a mask to protect everyone, including those who care for our sickest individuals. All UMMS member organizations will be promoting this effort across their campuses and social media properties on September 17.

The signature mark of the global campaign is to display orange lights to reflect a commitment to WPSD, and several UMMS facilities across the state – including the University of Maryland Medical Center Downtown Campus (Baltimore City), University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center (Glen Burnie), University of Maryland St. Joseph Medical Center (Towson) and University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center (La Plata) will light their campuses in observance, which will also serve as a gesture of respect and gratitude to all health workers.  UMMS employees are also encouraged to incorporate orange into their work wardrobe on Thursday.

“We are all in this together and are fully supportive of recognizing patient safety as a global health priority,” said Mohan Suntha, MD, MBA, President, and CEO of UMMS. “As a System, nothing is more important than keeping our patients and employees safe. I have been impressed by how our System has truly come together as OneUMMS during our COVID-19 response, which has benefitted our patients and those in the communities we serve across the state.”  

World Patient Safety Day was established by the 72nd World Health Assembly in May 2019 with the goal of bringing together health workers, patients, families, caregivers, communities, health care leaders, and policy-makers to demonstrate a commitment to health worker safety and patient safety.  The overall objectives of World Patient Safety Day include enhancing the global understanding of patient safety, increasing public engagement in the safety of health care, and promoting global actions to enhance patient safety and reduce patient harm. The origin of the Day is firmly grounded in the fundamental principle of medicine – First, do no harm.

UMMS has a workforce of 28,000 employees and delivers approximately 25 percent of all hospital care in Maryland.  

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