Advancing the science of patient safety.
Research on patient safety has dramatically increased in the past decade, but despite this, the progress of improving safety remains slow. Significant controversy exists about how safety interventions should be evaluated, and even apparently successful interventions may not be generalizable to all settings. This AHRQ-sponsored consensus statement by leaders in the safety field defines a framework for rigorous assessment of safety interventions. This framework calls for investigators to use change theory to develop their projects; provide adequate details of the intervention, implementation process, and the context in which the intervention was conducted; and evaluate both the expected outcomes and potential unintended consequences of the intervention. The accompanying editorial (see link below) discusses the challenges of conducting research in complex settings, and takes note of existing guidelines and resources to help clinicians write and interpret articles about patient safety interventions.