Perspectives on Safety
Narrow Results Clear All
- Communication Improvement 10
- Culture of Safety 6
- Education and Training 7
- Error Reporting and Analysis 7
- Human Factors Engineering
- Legal and Policy Approaches 8
- Logistical Approaches 1
- Quality Improvement Strategies 10
- Specialization of Care 1
- Teamwork 2
- Clinical Information Systems 4
- Device-related Complications 3
- Discontinuities, Gaps, and Hand-Off Problems 1
- Fatigue and Sleep Deprivation 1
- Medical Complications 4
- Medication Safety 7
- Psychological and Social Complications 1
- Surgical Complications 3
- Health Care Executives and Administrators
- Health Care Providers 17
Non-Health Care Professionals
- Media 1
- Patients 1
New Insights on Safety and Health IT, July/August 2015
Dr. Wachter is Professor and the Interim Chairman of the Department of Medicine at UCSF. We talked with him about his new book, The Digital Doctor: Hope, Hype, and Harm at the Dawn of Medicine's Computer Age.
with commentary by A. Zach Hettinger, MD, MS; Raj Ratwani, PhD; Rollin J. (Terry) Fairbanks, MD, MS, New Insights on Safety and Health IT, July/August 2015
This piece provides an overview of health IT usability design, including persisting challenges and progress in the field.
Surgical Checklists, April 2015
A pioneer in patient safety, Dr. Leape is Adjunct Professor of Health Policy at the Harvard School of Public Health and Chairman of the Lucian Leape Institute of the National Patient Safety Foundation. His groundbreaking research has focused on patient safety and quality of care. We spoke with him about checklists and the field of patient safety.
Surgical Checklists, April 2015
Dr. Urbach is Professor of Surgery and Health Policy, Management and Evaluation at the University of Toronto. We spoke with him about his study evaluating the effectiveness of checklists in Ontario, Canada and its implications for a variety of safety interventions.
Interruptions and Distractions in Health Care, February 2014
Dr. Coiera, a professor at the University of New South Wales, has extensively researched and written about clinical communication processes and information systems. We spoke with him about how interruptions and distractions in the clinical environment influence patient safety.
Designing for Safety, October 2012
Dr. Reiling consults with hospitals nationwide regarding facility designs that emphasize safety, error reduction, and quality.
with commentary by Anjali Joseph, PhD, EDAC; Eileen B. Malone, RN, MSN, MS, EDAC, Designing for Safety, October 2012
This piece discusses how environmental factors contribute to adverse events in health care and describes how evidence-based design principles can improve safety.
with commentary by Robert M. Wachter, MD, Safety in the UK, June 2012
This piece examines differences in the patient safety movements in the UK and US, as seen through the eyes of an American safety expert who spent 6 months in England last year.
with commentary by Rory Jaffe, MD, MBA, Patient Safety Organizations, July 2011
This piece discusses the process by which one professional organization became a PSO.
Unintended Consequences, June 2011
His seminal work in patient safety is generally credited with introducing the concept of unintended consequences.
with commentary by Christopher Nemeth, PhD, Unintended Consequences, June 2011
This piece discusses how adopting new technology can have unintended effects.
Checklists, October 2010
Peter J. Pronovost, MD, PhD, is a Professor of Anesthesia, Critical Care, and Health Policy at Johns Hopkins University and Director of the Johns Hopkins Quality and Safety Research Group. He may be best known for having led the Michigan Keystone project, which used checklists and other interventions to markedly reduce catheter-associated bloodstream infections in ICUs throughout the state. For this work and more, he received a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, and Time Magazine named him as one of the 100 most influential people in the world. We asked him to speak with us about checklists and other thoughts about the science of improving patient safety.
with commentary by Anne Collins McLaughlin, PhD, Checklists, October 2010
The use of checklists is a primitive yet remarkably effective strategy for ensuring accuracy in complex tasks. Checklists have long been used in fields such as aviation and space exploration but have only recently made headway in medicine. The reluctance of medical professionals to adopt checklists is often framed as pushback against "more paperwork" and "cookbook medicine," or due to disbelief in their effectiveness. However, a rich literature has helped establish many best practices in checklist design, and health care now stands to benefit.
with commentary by Anita L. Tucker, DBA, MS, Workarounds, August 2009
Frontline health care providers are challenged by poorly performing work systems. Required equipment is broken, patient medications are in the wrong dose, key information fails to get communicated, and essential supplies are out of stock.(
Health Literacy and Safety, February-March 2009
Dean Schillinger, MD, is a Professor of Medicine at University of California, San Francisco, Director of the UCSF Center for Vulnerable Populations, and Chief of the California Diabetes Prevention and Control Program. His role as a practicing clinician at a safety net hospital (San Francisco General Hospital) has put him in a unique position to pursue influential and relevant research related to health literacy and improving care for vulnerable populations.
with commentary by Michael S. Wolf, PhD, MPH; Stacy Cooper Bailey, MPH, Health Literacy and Safety, February-March 2009
Clear health communication is increasingly recognized as essential for promoting patient safety. Yet according to a recent Joint Commission report, What Did the Doctor Say? Improving Health Literacy to Protect Patient Safety, communication problems among health care providers, patients, and families are common and a leading root cause of adverse outcomes. Addressing health literacy—the capacity of individuals to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions—has become a primary objective for many health systems in order to protect patients from harm.
Not Paying for Errors: A Policy Perspective, October 2008
At the University of California, San Francisco, Robert M. Wachter, MD, is Professor and Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine; Associate Chairman of the Department of Medicine; Lynne and Marc Benioff Endowed Chair in Hospital Medicine; and Chief of the Medical Service at UCSF Medical Center. He is also Editor of AHRQ WebM&M and AHRQ Patient Safety Network.
with commentary by Jeffrey M. Rothschild, MD, MPH; Carol Keohane, RN, BSN, Bar Coding for Medication Safety, September 2008
Medication safety in hospitals depends on the successful execution of a complex system of scores of individual tasks that can be categorized into five stages: ordering or prescribing, preparing, dispensing, transcribing, and monitoring the patient's response. Many of these tasks lend themselves to technologic tools. Over the past 20 years, technology has played an increasingly larger role toward achieving the five rights of medication safety: getting the right dose of the right drug to the right patient using the right route and at the right time. While several of these technologies may incur significant upfront and maintenance costs, the net impact over time may be reduced overall institutional costs and improvements in work efficiency. Examples of technologic tools commonly seen in many hospitals today include computerized provider order entry (CPOE) with decision support and automatic dispensing carts, also known as medication dispensing robots. While outside the scope of this Perspective, it is important to emphasize that many nontechnologic interventions, such as clinical pharmacists on physician rounds, can be equally effective in improving medication safety.
Does Root Cause Analysis Work?, July 2008
Albert Wu, MD, MPH, is Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health and is presently working with the World Health Organization's World Alliance for Patient Safety, based in Geneva. He is a leading expert on several aspects of patient safety, including disclosure and evaluation. He recently wrote a commentary on the use of root cause analysis in patient safety in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).
International Perspectives on Safety, May 2007
Sir Liam Donaldson, MD, MSc, is England's Chief Medical Officer, a post often referred to as "the Nation's Doctor" (similar to the role of the U.S. Surgeon General). Trained as a surgeon, Sir Liam has been an inspirational leader in public health and health care quality in the United Kingdom for two decades. He has also emerged as a world leader in the patient safety field, authoring or commissioning dozens of influential reports, and serving as the founding chair of the World Health Organization's World Alliance for Patient Safety. We spoke to him about patient safety from an international perspective.