Patient Safety Week: 5–11 November 2017

PSW 17

Patient Safety Week (PSW) will be held from 5–11 November 2017, with a focus on medication safety. This is in line with the World Health Organization’s five-year medication safety challenge.

We know that harm is occurring because people are taking the wrong medicines, so we’ll be producing resources to encourage conversations between consumers and health professionals.

Working together

We are again working with ACC to deliver PSW, and also have support from PHARMAC. We are fortunate to be well supported by a skilled ideas group that includes representatives from most areas of the sector.


A fresh illustrative approach will underpin PSW 2017 and we will carry the same creative across resources and social media. Our approach to resources is 'less is more' – we don’t want to overwhelm the sector with 'stuff'; rather provide resources that we know work. One exciting new resource will be pharmacy dispensing bags (thanks ACC and PHARMAC), which will give PSW messages added impetus in most communities around the country.


After much consultation with medication safety experts, the main questions we’ll be communicating throughout PSW are likely to be:

  • What is my medicine called?
  • What is it for?
  • When and how should I take it?

We view these questions as a starting point, that will lead to a bigger conversation to cover things like side effects, the impact of stopping medicines, taking several medicines and so on.


The audience for PSW are people with chronic conditions who are long-term users of multiple medicines, with an emphasis on Māori and people with English as a second language. We’ll also be talking to family and whānau (support networks) of these consumers.

The other audience for PSW is our delivery audience, health professionals.

Competition time: win a staff morning tea!

We encourage you to contact us with any ideas you have for promoting medication safety in your workplace, which we can then share nationwide.

We will do a lucky draw (for a staff morning tea) from all PSW delivery ideas that are received by 31 July.

Email us now

More information

More information on Patient Safety Week, including resources, will be announced in the coming months, so keep checking the news items on the bottom of this page.

To read more about previous Patient Safety Weeks, visit the archived Open website external link.

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