Skip to content

Patient Safety

WHO highlights importance of good hand hygiene for patient safety

2012-05-05 13:44:10

On Hand Hygiene Day (5 May), more than 15 000 health-care facilities from 156 countries are participating in the WHO Save Lives: Clean Your Hands Initiative by committing to improve patient safety by practicing better hand hygiene.

Read more

Older adults and drug consumption. (April, 2012)

2012-04-11 16:50:41

As people age they face growing health problems, mainly from chronic diseases (such as hypertension, diabetes and cancer, among others) that require ongoing treatment. Since these conditions tend to occur simultaneously, polypharmacy (the consumption of multiple drugs by one patient) is almost unavoidable, which can lead to an increase in unwanted or dangerous interactions. In addition to these risks, problems may arise due to changes in body, possible errors of improper prescription and self-medication.

Read more

Exhibit Art for Research

2011-09-27 22:13:11

Exhibit Art for Research illustrates how health research generates wealth in the countries contributing to economic and social development, and to equity in health. contributes to social development and equity in health. This project includes two complementary shows:

  • Shaping the World, a collection of characters and their stories illustrated with portraits by renowned British artist Theo Chalmers
  • Research on the move, a collection of photographs of the Australian Jane Dempster who traveled through Latin America documenting transforming histories of health research.

First Exhibition in Madrid and Barcelona, Spain

Presented by the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/WHO) and organized with support of the Iberoamerican Cochrane Network and the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo) AECID.

The exhibition was presented at the same time in the Palacio de Congresos in Madrid, during the 19th Cochrane Colloquium/VI International Conference on Patient Safety, from 19 to 22 October and in the vestibule of the Hospital of the Holy Creu i Sant Pau of Barcelona, headquarters of the Iberoamerican Cochrane Network and of the LXIV Meeting of the PAHO Advisory Committee for Health Research (ACHR) from 12 October hereinafter.

In the picture Gloria Lafuente Alvarez, admires the exhibit while visiting a relative at the Hospital de la Santa Creux i Sant Pau. Recognizing that good health care “rests in two main pillars: good research and teaching of quality that starts in the university in the different areas like biochemistry, biology and research.” Moreover she commented: “The exhibit has impressive photos and ideal amount of text—not too much reading because one gets lost”.

Read more

Medical Devices Regulation

2011-08-19 10:17:28

Medical devices cover an extremely wide range of products including: syringes, stethoscopes, hip implants, ECG recorders, X-ray equipment, spectacles and dental equipment. In general, a medical device is any product used specifically for health care purposes which is neither a medicine nor a biological product.

A medical device is an instrument, apparatus, or machine used to diagnose, treat, monitor, or alleviate disease or injury. It is also used to prevent disease and compensate for injury.

More information at Medical Devices Webpage

Technical documents


PAHO. CD42.R10 on Medical Devices from the PAHO. 42nd Directing Council. (2000)

Related topics

Blood Services,


Diagnostic imaging

Health technology assessment


Laboratory technology

Medical devices regulation

Patient Safety


WHO Programmes and activities

Department of Essential Health Technology


Read more

Regional Office for the Americas of the World Health Organization
525 Twenty-third Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20037, United States of America
Tel.: +1 (202) 974-3000 Fax: +1 (202) 974-3663

© Pan American Health Organization. All rights reserved.