The onion model illustrates the multiple levels or layers of protection (as in the layers of an onion) in a complex, high-risk system such as any health care setting. These layers include external regulations (e.g., related to staffing levels or required organizational practices, such as medication reconciliation), organizational features such as a just culture, equipment and technology (e.g., computerized order entry), and education and training of personnel. An illustration of a modified version of the onion model can be found here.

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