Patients' conceptualizations of responsibility for healthcare: a typology for understanding differing attributions in the context of patient safety.
Engaging patients effectively to promote safety is considered a best practice and is endorsed by organizations such as The Joint Commission. Yet, how patients perceive the responsibility for achieving safety remains poorly understood. Investigators conducted semistructured interviews with 28 patients who were discharged from the hospital to better understand how they attribute responsibility for their safety in the health care setting. Direct responses revealed that patients consider health care professionals as being primarily responsible for patient safety but that patients also perceive themselves as playing a part. Narrative responses illustrated why professionals or patients might be responsible and in what context or situation one group might bear more responsibility than another. A past Annual Perspective discussed patient engagement in safety.