KARACHI - Health experts in a panel discussion opined that the use of technology can help overcome challenges in patient safety. Lack of patient safety is the 14th leading cause of morbidity and mortality across the world according to a 2017 report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Bayer Pakistan arranged the panel discussion on Tuesday to mark International Patient Safety Day 2019, which calls for all stakeholders in healthcare systems to work together to improve patient safety. During the discussion, renowned medical practitioners and educationists including Dr Abdul Basit Baig, Executive director, Quality and Monitoring Directorate, Indus Hospital, Dr Rafeeq Alam, Dean, Faculty of Pharmacy, Ziauddin University, and Dr Riaz Qureshi, Professor of Family Medicine, Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), Dr Waqar Ahmed, Assitant Director, DRAP Karachi and Dr Mahrukh Mughal, AD CDL Karachi have shared their views on patient safety and discussed measures to improve awareness of key issues relating to patient safety amongst the public. These included the importance of taking medication as prescribed, and the monitoring and timely reporting of any adverse events. The panel urged medical practitioners, drug regulators from the Ministry of Health and health advisors/professionals to work together and spread awareness about patient safety and develop a mechanism to mitigate risks.  “The goal is to improve the health literacy of citizens and empower patients to be actively engaged in taking responsibility for their own health.  In this regard, technological solutions such as SafeTrack, Bayer’s new web-based tool, can go a long way toward promoting safety,” said Dr Syed Rizwan Ahmed, Pharmacovigilance Country Head at Bayer.

During the event, Bayer Pakistan announced the launch of Safe Track, a new web-based, digital tool for the public which is designed to allow for easy, quick and convenient reporting of adverse events.

“As a leading pharmaceutical company, patient safety is one of Bayer’s core values and our highest priority. This event, and the launch of Safe Track, demonstrate commitment to ensuring the safety of current and future patients and consumers,” said Dr Imran Ahmad Khan, CEO and Managing Director, Bayer Pakistan.

“We hope that this Patient Safety Day event and panel discussion will encourage patient safety stakeholders to use Safe Track, which provides a quick, easy and convenient way of reporting adverse events digitally back to us to help improve patient safety,” he added.

“Our Pharmacovigilance colleagues work diligently at every stage of the product lifecycle to ensure that the benefits of our products outweigh the risks,”  Dr Imran Ahmad Khan continued, adding that Bayer Pakistan looks forward to working with relevant stakeholders in the country to improve patient safety.

The event, which was attended by media personnel and members of the public included an exhibition and an interactive game on adverse event reporting.