Two friends, Varun and Samarth had kept up a pandemic tradition of weekly video calls before heading to work and on the last one, Varun sounded rather hysterical. His father had taken ill and had to be admitted to the hospital, and within a couple of days, his health had deteriorated rapidly.

To add to Varun’s agony, he was living a thousand miles away from where his father was, located in a state which had strict quarantine rules for new arrivals. The circumstances forced Varun to make some disquieting calculations – given the travel restrictions and COVID-19 protocol, he would only be able to see his father in three weeks, and going by the rate at which his health was diminishing, there was now a distinct possibility that they might never meet again.

After passing a harrowing week, the father’s health got somewhat better and the family discovered that their ordeal was quite avoidable. “A miss on meds by the doctor. nephrologist discontinued his anti-arrhythmia drugs, without consulting the cardiologist and that created the whole mess,” Varun reported indignantly.

Avoidable harm in healthcare is a reality hard to reckon with – thousands of patients are at the risk of injury while receiving healthcare every single day. Many are harmed or killed by medical errors every year, making the prevention, reduction, reporting and analysis of medical errors an important part of the medical routine. In the last few decades, patient safety has emerged as a distinct healthcare discipline and in India, is it in dire need of a digital reinforcement.

This World Patient Safety Day, DocVita recognises patient safety as a global and national health priority and supports the WHO campaign for emphasising health worker safety. The pandemic has revealed unprecedented challenges and risks that healthcare workers are facing globally – illness and infections, stigma, violence and discrimination, psychological and emotional upheaval. At DocVita, we operate on the belief that telemedicine can reduce the burden on our healthcare systems by tackling non-emergency medical conditions across specialties on virtual consultations.

Let’s join the movement and remember that providing a conducive environment, high quality PPE and emotional, psychological and digital support not only protects healthcare workers but also reduces the chances of errors that lead to patient harm.