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Patient Safety Week update – 24 July 2019

Aotearoa Patient Safety Day
24 July 2019

Planning for Patient Safety Week 2019 is well underway.

Our main resource, training and education videos focusing on implicit bias in health care, are being filmed and feature a range of subject-matter experts including Dr David Tipene-Leach (professor of Māori and indigenous research, Eastern Institute of Technology), Dr Carla Houkamau (senior lecturer, University of Auckland) and Anton Blank (Māori communications expert).

Implicit bias focus

The theme of ‘Understanding implicit bias in health care’ has been chosen because there is:

  • a growing focus on the impact bias can have on people’s experiences with health services
  • increasing awareness of how implicit or unconscious bias contributes to the poorer patient experiences for Māori and other population groups in New Zealand.

While our focus is strongly related to ethnicity, the content we are producing is equally relevant to other areas such as disability, weight, gender and sexual orientation. We hope that staff in the health care sector, in clinical and non-clinical roles, will find the content engaging, useful and relevant to their work.

Webinars and workshops

We will be hosting webinars during the week focusing on recognising and understanding implicit bias. There will also be a limited number of speakers available to present at on-site workshops, for example, at a grand round or other staff gathering.

If you are interested in having someone come to a workshop in your region, contact us at

Patient Safety Week moving to September from 2020

You may be aware that the World Health Organization executive board decided an annual World Patient Safety Day will be established on 17 September. The Commission will therefore be moving Patient Safety Week to the third week of September from 2020. Patient Safety Week 2019 remains 3 to 9 November and will be our focus for the rest of the year.

We are looking forward to shining a light on patient safety as part of a global initiative and will continue to set a theme relevant to New Zealand in 2020 and beyond.

Keep an eye on our website and e-Digest for more information about Patient Safety Week, or contact our team at