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PSNet: Patient Safety Network
Journal Article

The global burden of unsafe medical care: analytic modelling of observational studies.

Jha AK, Larizgoitia I, Audera-Lopez C, et al. BMJ quality & safety. 2013;22:809-15.

In countries where access to health care remains a significant problem, emphasizing patient safety may seem like a luxury. However, this study demonstrates that adverse events due to health care are a major contributor to the global burden of disease in lower-income countries and advocates for greater emphasis on evaluating and improving the safety of care in resource-poor settings. Per this analysis, preventable harm ranks as the 20th most common source of overall morbidity and mortality worldwide—and as this measure is based on harm caused by seven specific adverse events, it is likely an underestimate. The World Health Organization has taken a prime role in improving patient safety worldwide, with one of its leading accomplishments being development of the Surgical Safety Checklist.